South Korean Red Cross to aid DPRK

From the Korea Times:

South Korea’s Red Cross will provide $400,000 (a little over 388,000,000 won) to its North Korean counterpart along with 10 buses and 6 cars to facilitate more on-screen reunion meetings of family members separated by the inter-Korean border.

The provision is in line with an agreement both sides signed earlier this month through an exchange of letters via the Panmunjom truce village.

According to the agreement, the South will provide the North with cash and vehicles for promoting family reunions and will also give the North necessary materials for building on-screen family reunion centers in the North at the earliest possible date.

The North, for its part, will concretely inform the South of its use of the money, vehicles and materials, the agreement says.

South Korean Red Cross officials will also be allowed to inspect on-screen family reunion center construction sites.

The two Koreas started operating on-screen family reunions through video link on Liberation Day, Aug. 15 last year. Four on-screen sessions have so far been held, while 14 face-to-face reunions have been held since August 2000, including the ongoing session at Mt. Kumgang in the North.

“Most of the separated family members have become aged and, considering this trend, we need to resolve the issue as early as possible,’’ a South Korean Red Cross official said. “To expand the on-screen family reunion sessions, we concluded that the North needs to be equipped with more facilities for on-screen reunions.’’


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