S. Koreans to gather for long-awaited reunion with DPRK families



Hundreds of South Koreans will gather in the country's eastern coastal city of Sokcho on Monday to prepare for the long-awaited reunion with their families from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The Oct. 20-26 reunion of families, separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, was agreed in late August when top-level military advisors to South Korean President Park Geun-hye and top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un met to defuse tensions that had pushed the two Koreas to the brink of armed conflict.

A group of 393 South Koreans, including the divided families and their companions as most of them are in their 80s and 90s, will gather at a resort hotel in Sokcho a day before the first round of the three-day family reunion in the DPRK's southeastern Mount Kumgang resort, according to Seoul's unification ministry.

More than 100 supporting officials and 29 media reporters will accompany the families.

The gathered families will be educated on Monday about dos and don'ts while staying in the DPRK scenic resort, a venue for the humanitarian event that is only the second in the past five years. The last one was held in February 2014.

On Tuesday morning, the South Koreans will cross the inter-Korean land border into the Mount Kumgang resort by bus. Later in the afternoon, they will have the first gathering with their long-lost DPRK relatives for two hours.

The separated families will have a total of six meetings, each to be run for two hours, during the three-day first round, and the second round will run for three days from Saturday at the DPRK resort with the same program.

A group of 255 South Koreans will participate in the second round of the reunion event.