S. Korea starts renovation of video reunion venues for war-separated families

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-03 13:22:36|Editor: 王程呈
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SEOUL, April 3 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's unification ministry said Wednesday that renovation works began for venues here for the video reunions of Korean families separated by the 1950-1953 Korean War to prepare for future reunions through video equipment with the long-lost relatives in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Among the total of 13 local video reunion centers, renovation works were launched for two of them in the Korean Red Cross headquarters in central Seoul earlier in the day.

Unification Ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun told a routine press briefing that the repair works were centered on removing any inconveniences for the separated families of old age and providing more technically vivid images.

The video reunion centers required the replacement of video and audio transceivers as well as monitors given that the venues have not been used since the latest and seventh round of the video reunions was held in 2007.

A combined seven rounds of video reunions were held between 2005 and 2007 for 557 separated families from the two Koreas. Since 2000, 21 rounds of face-to-face family reunions were held, the latest one in August last year.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un agreed to discuss the resumption of video reunions and the exchange of video messages for the separated families by holding Red Cross talks, after their third summit in Pyongyang last September.

The spokesman said South Korea planned to launch working-level talks with the DPRK for the video reunions after completing discussions on it among the country's relevant ministries.

South Korea recently received sanctions waiver from the UN Security Council for video equipment to be sent to the DPRK for video reunions.