NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 74 (October 1, 2009) |
*** RECORDS ON INTER-KOREAN RELATIONS
Chronology of Inter-Korean Family Reunions
Aug. 20, 1971 -- The Red Cross offices hold the first inter-Korean talks at the truce village of Panmunjom at the border.
May 27-30, 1985 -- The Koreas agree to arrange reunions of separated families and exchange visits by art troupes. Relations had thawed after Pyongyang sent rice and other humanitarian aid to South Korea, which suffered heavy flood damage the previous year.
Sept. 20-23, 1985 -- Thirty-seven South Koreans visit Pyongyang to meet with their relatives in the North, while 30 North Koreans travel to Seoul to be reunited with kin in the South.
Oct. 16, 1989 -- The Koreas agree to hold another round of reunions, which don't materialize until 2000.
March 9, 2000 -- President Kim Dae-jung in his "Berlin Declaration" calls for inter-Korean reconciliation and joint efforts to resolve the issues of separated families.
June 13-15 -- Kim Dae-jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il hold the historic first inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang.
June 27-30 -- The Koreas hold Red Cross talks and set the date and venue for what Seoul called the first "official" round of reunions.
Aug. 15-18 -- Reunions are simultaneously held in Seoul and Pyongyang. Each side sent 100 people to the other side of the border to be reunited with hundreds of their relatives.
Nov. 30-Dec. 2 -- The second round of family reunions is held.
Feb. 26-28, 2001 -- The third round of family reunions is held.
April 3-6, 2002 -- A South Korean presidential envoy visits the North and reaches agreement to hold future reunions at the scenic Mt. Kumgang resort on the North's east coast.
April 28-May 3 -- The fourth round of family reunions is held in two segments at Mt. Kumgang. About 100 South Koreans seeking North Korean kin participated in the first three-day segment, followed by another segment for 100 North Koreans seeking South Korean relatives.
Sept. 13-18 -- The fifth round of family reunions is held.
Oct. 19-22 -- The two Koreas reach an accord at minister-level talks to build a reception center for the reunions and cooperate in locating people who went missing after the 1950-1953 Korean War.
Feb. 20-25, 2003 -- The sixth round of family reunions is held.
June 27-July 2 -- The seventh round of family reunions is held.
Sept. 20-25 -- The eighth round of family reunions is held.
March 29-April 3, 2004 -- The ninth round of family reunions is held.
July 11-16 -- The 10th round of family reunions is held.
June 17, 2005 -- South Korean presidential envoy Chung Dong-young meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang. Among other things, the two agreed to start reunions using live video so that more people can participate in reunions, especially those who are too frail to travel.
Aug. 15 -- Video reunion facilities open on both sides of the border. In a pilot case, 40 separated families from each side are reunited with relatives through video.
Aug. 26-31 -- The 11th round of face-to-face reunions is held. South Korea begins construction of a reception center at the North Korean mountain resort.
Nov. 5-10 -- The 12th round of family reunions is held.
Nov. 24-25, Dec. 8-9 -- The second and third rounds of video reunions are held.
Feb. 27-28, 2006 -- The fourth round of video reunions is held.
March 20-25, June 19-30 -- The 13th and 14th rounds of face-to-face reunions are held.
July 19, 2006 -- North Korea says it is suspending family reunions, following South Korea's decision to halt rice and fertilizer aid to the country. Seoul had temporarily suspended humanitarian aid in response to the North's missile tests in early July.
March 27-29, 2007 -- The fifth round of video reunions is held.
May 9-14 -- The 15th round of face-to-face reunions are held.
Aug. 14-15 -- The sixth round of video reunions is held.
Oct. 17-22 -- The 16th round of face-to-face reunions is held.
March 2008 -- North Korea boycotts inter-Korean dialogue, protesting the new Lee Myung-bak government in Seoul, which took a tough stance on the North's nuclear program and suspended massive aid to the North.
Aug. 16, 2009 -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and Hyun Jeong-eun, chairwoman of South Korea's Hyundai Group, a major investor in the North, agree to resume family reunions and reinvigorate joint business ventures.
Aug. 26-28 -- The Koreas hold Red Cross talks at the Mt. Kumgang resort and set up a new round of family reunions.
Sept. 26-Oct. 1 -- Ninety-eight South Koreans are set to be reunited with their North Korean relatives at the mountain resort in the first three days. In the second segment, 100 North Koreans come to meet with South Korean relatives.