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Two Koreas agree to hold family reunion talks

Pyongyang accepts Seoul's offer for talks on reuniting families separated since 1950-1953 war, officials say.

Last Modified: 18 Aug 2013 16:05
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About 22,000 North and South Koreans had brief family reunions before the programme stopped in 2010. [AFP]

North Korea has accepted a South Korean offer for talks on reuniting families separated by war, Pyongyang officials said.

The North has suggested that a meeting be held at the country's scenic Diamond Mountain, an unidentified spokesman at Pyongyang's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said on Sunday.

South Korea suspended tours to Diamond Mountain after a South Korean woman was shot dead by a North Korean border guard there in 2008.

South Korea's Unification Ministry said later that it "positively" views North Korea's decision to agree for the talks, but still wants them held at  the border village of Panmunjom as it initially proposed.

Reunions stopped in 2010

Family reunions were a major inter-Korean cooperation programme formulated under a previous era of detente on the divided Korean Peninsula.

About 22,000 North and South Koreans had brief family reunions before the programme stopped in 2010 due to increased tensions between the countries.

North Korea threatened Seoul and Washington with nuclear war this spring, and analysts say the North often follows provocations and threats with a charm offensive meant to win aid.

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