North, South Korea Announce Resumption of Family Reunions After 20 Months

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By Alex Johnson

North and South Korea agreed Tuesday to resume reunions of families separated by the Korean War next month, the two countries said Tuesday.

About 100 separated families from both sides will be allowed to reunite at the North Korean resort of Mount Kumgang during the week of Oct. 20-26, according to a joint statement quoted by South Korea's Yonhap news agency and detailed at a televised news conference.

The reunions — the first since February 2014, and the 20th round since the historic North-South Korea summit in 2000 — reflect a "shared perception that South and North Korea need to fundamentally resolve the humanitarian issue," according to the joint statement.

February 2014: Korean Families Meet Again After 60 Years

The agreement is the result of a deal that was reached to cool tensions over North Korean landmine blasts near the border last month, Yonhap reported, citing South Korea's Reunification Ministry.

The ministry said the two sides will soon exchange a final list of more than 200 separated families, with a target of notifying the families by Oct. 8.

More than 66,000 South Korean family members have been separated by the Korean War of 1950-53, which is technically still in a cease-fire because no peace treaty was ever signed.