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Two Koreas's civic groups vow cooperation in bringing home remains of forced labor victims from Japan

All Headlines 14:11 July 19, 2018

BEIJING, July 19 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has agreed to cooperate with South Korea in bringing home the remains of Koreans forced into labor during Japan's colonial rule, the head of a pro-unification civic organization based in Seoul said Thursday.

The agreement was reached Wednesday between North Korean officials and Kim Hong-gul, head of the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation (KCRC), who made a four-day trip to Pyongyang from Monday.

"We signed an agreement (with the North) to work together in bringing home from Japan the remains of those victims of forced labor," Kim told Yonhap News Agency while en route back to Seoul from Beijing.

Kim added that working-level talks with the North will likely continue going forward to discuss the issue and other possible cooperation.

Historians say millions of Koreans were mobilized into forced labor during Japan's colonial rule from 1910-1945.

Kim earlier said that the project could start with about 2,200 sets of remains that have been located around Japanese temples.

He added that it could also involve pro-North Korea organizations in Japan, such as the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, and some Japanese civic groups.

The inter-Korean project came amid a growing sense of thaw between the two Koreas, which led to the landmark inter-Korean summit in April, where the leaders agreed to expand cross-border exchanges and reduce military tensions.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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