North and South Korea agree to hold new talks on reuniting separated families

North and South Korean unification ministers.
(Image credit: KOREA POOL / AFP)

North and South Korean officials on Friday agreed to new rounds of inter-Korean negotiations to lower military tensions, reunite families separated for more than half a century, and build united sports teams for international competition.

The family reunification element is known as Red Cross talks, and the aim is to reconnect people whose families who were split by the division of the Korean Peninsula during the Korean War in the 1950s. Past Red Cross negotiations have been led by officials in each Korean branch of the Red Cross and can address other humanitarian topics as well.

South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon spoke enthusiastically of Friday's agreement. "If we continue to engage with each other like we did today," he said, "there will be no problem that can’t be solved between the South and North."

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The three sets of negotiations are scheduled to take place soon after the off-again, on-again summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump, which is potentially set for June 12. The inter-Korean military talks will happen June 14, the sports talks June 18, and the Red Cross talks June 22.

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