South Koreans head for North Korea for reunion

Seoul, Oct 24 (IANS) A second group of South Koreans on Saturday headed for North Korea to meet their relatives at the reunion event for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

A total of 254 South Koreans left around 8.45 a.m. (local time) for North Korea’s Mount Kumgang resort, Xinhua news agency reported.

A convoy of buses carrying the participants, mostly in their 80s and 90s, crossed the demilitarised zone dividing the two Koreas.

They are scheduled to have the first face-to-face around 3.30 p.m. (local time) in the mountain resort after more than six decades of separation.

A total of 188 North Koreans will take part in the event, which was agreed to in late August after high-level military talks to defuse tensions that had pushed the Korean peninsula to the brink of armed conflict.

Only 12 hours will be given to the separated families through six two-hour sessions, including lunch and dinner gatherings in public and communal meetings. Only one private face-to-face will be allowed during the three-day event.

Scores of South Koreans were on wheelchairs due to their poor health, and some rode ambulances to the North as they had difficulties making the journey by bus.

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