S. Korea selects 500 candidates for family reunions in August

Published on 25 Jun 2018, 12:21
두달남은 이산가족 상봉, 어떻게 이루어지나

Preparations for reunion of war-torn families are well underway.
The selection of candidates by the South Korean Red Cross using a computerized process is complete.
The next step: finding out who among them are willing to take part, and to check their physical conditions to see if they're fit enough to handle the travel and the emotional experience.
Oh Jung-hee explains how the system works.
South Korea has selected candidates for the reunions in August of families separated by the Korean War.
On Monday, the South Korean Red Cross chose 500 people -- out of the registered 57-thousand separated family members -- by computerized random selection.
Those who are older and have immediate family members north of the border had a higher chance of being picked as a candidate for the reunions.
The Red Cross will check the health of each of the 500 candidates and see whether they're willing to participate in the reunions... to narrow down the number of candidates to 200.
The two Koreas will then confirm which family members are still alive on their respective sides of the border... and exchange the final list of participants on August 4th.
The reunions will take place for a week starting from August 20th at North Korea's Mount Kumgang... with 100 participants chosen by South Korea and another 100 chosen by North Korea.

Considering how the previous reunions have been held,... it's likely that the two Koreas will split the week into two parts.
During the first half of the week, the 100 selected participants from South Korea would meet their family members from the North... and during the latter half, the 100 participants selected by North Korea would meet their family members from the South.
People who have difficulties moving can have one other family member accompany them.
In this way, at the last reunion event held in October 2015, over 970 people were able to meet their family members.

There have been 20 family reunions since 2000... and about 20-thousand people from some 42-hundred families have been able to meet their family members.
In South Korea, 57-thousand people remain alive out of 132-thousand people registered as separated from their family members.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.

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