ROK picks candidate for separated families joining reunion event (China Daily)

Kim Tae-un (C), 78, from the DPRK and her South Korean sisters Kim Sa-bun (L) and Kim Young-sun cry as they hug each other during their family reunion at the Mount Kumgang resort in DPRK, Feb 23, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

SEOUL — The Republic of Korea (ROK)’s Red Cross on Wednesday picked 500 candidates for separated families who could be allowed to join the reunion event with their long-lost relatives in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The selecting process was launched after Seoul and Pyongyang agreed Tuesday to hold the reunion of families, separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, at the gathering center in the DPRK’s Mount Kumgang resort from Oct 20 to 26.

Confirming the willingness to participate in the humanitarian event and the capability via medical check-ups will narrow down the candidate number to 250.

After exchanging the short list of candidates with the DPRK, the final list of 100 people would be determined by Oct 8.

The competition rate to be included in the final list was one to 662.9 given the 66,292 separated families who are still alive, according to data by Seoul’s unification ministry. Among them, 81. 6 percent is aged more than 70.

The figure meant that almost half of about 130,000 South Koreans, who had applied for a reunion since 1988, passed away without a chance to meet their long-lost relatives.

A South Korean man, who said he has family members living in the DPRK, gets help to prepare a document for reunion, at the administration office for separated families in the Red Cross building, in Seoul, South Korea, Sept 7, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

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