North and South Korea Are Preparing to Reunite Families Divided by War

Posted June 23, 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed during a summit in April to hold the family reunions about August 15, the anniversary of the Korean Peninsula's independence from Japanese colonial rule at the end of World War II in 1945. They're destroying their engine site.

In late May, before the June 12 Trump-Kim summit in Singapore, Pyongyang said it had fully demolished its only known nuclear test site.

"They've stopped the sending of missiles, including ballistic missiles".

Almost 7,700 American service members are listed as unaccounted for from the Korean War, of which an estimated 5,300 were lost in North Korea.

The Koreas last held family reunions in 2015 before relations worsened because of North Korea's accelerated pursuit of nuclear long-range missiles and the countering hard-line policies of Seoul's conservative then-government. As recently as May the North Korean Red Cross organisation urged South Korea to return the women "without delay".

Building on the diplomatic momentum from the Singapore summit, South Korea and the US announced Tuesday that joint military drills slated for August had been officially called off.

On Tuesday, Kim and Xi were reported by North Korean media to have reached an understanding on the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula after discussing the outcome of the US-North Korea summit. Details are scant on the four "big testing sites" Trump is referring to in this new announcement. North Korea did begin dismantling Sohae Satellite Launching Ground earlier this month.

In the Cabinet meeting, Trump acknowledged that "things can change".

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"They could quickly come back should we see the dialogue momentum losing speed or North Korea not living up to its denuclearization commitment", she said.

China is apparently moving to ease sanctions on North Korea and strengthen bilateral economic cooperation, following the North's leader Kim Jong-un's most recent visit to Beijing.

The rapprochement on the Korean peninsula was triggered earlier this year when Kim made a decision to send athletes, cheerleaders and his sister as an envoy to the Winter Olympics in the South. It's unclear whether North Korea would accept such plans.

The Trump administration on Friday issued a routine notice to Congress describing the threat as reasoning for keeping sanctions in place on North Korea. "But we have to get him to keep it tough", Trump said.

North and South Korea have agreed to resume reunions for families who were separated when the Korean War sealed the border between two nations.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 21, 2018.

A USA official had said Tuesday, June 19, that Pyongyang may soon begin returning remains from among up to 200 sets the North says it has recovered.

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