South Korea begins work on opening permanent facility to meet "separated families"
Follow - up / Tomorrow Press:
, announced South Korean government official said Thursday that South Korea will begin work on the opening of apermanent facility to reunite separated families in North Korea for regular meetings of families separated.
"Discussions on the details will take place soon and he understands that it is necessary to carry out repairs in the building, which will be designated as a family reunion facility," said the official, who asked not to be identified.
The leaders of the two Koreas agreed on Wednesday, according to South Korean news agency "Yonhap", to open a permanent facility in the (Mount Kumgang) on the east coast of North Korea "as soon as possible."
In 2008, South Korea built a building that can accommodate up to 1,000 people in the 12-storey Mount Kumgang area, equipped with a meeting room and about 200 rooms.
The building was not fully equipped with furniture and has been left almost unused since 2015, and was partially repaired before last family reunions held by the two Koreas last month.
South Korea provided 33.6 billion won for next year to support family reunification meetings and carry out repair work for the facility.
Some 57,000 South Koreans want to reunite with their families in North Korea after they were separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.
The two Koreas have held 21 rounds of family reunions since the first inter-Korean summit in 2000, mostly involving 100 families from each side, while the Seoul government wants regular reunions.