State Department official suggests possibility of family reunions involving Korean-Americans: report

SEOUL, Nov. 27 (Yonhap) -- A senior U.S. State Department official has suggested the possibility of Korean-Americans holding reunions by video or phone with their long-lost loved ones in North Korea, a news report said Tuesday.

Radio Free Asia reported that the unidentified State Department official talked about the possibility of such reunions during a phone call earlier this month with the head of the National Coalition of Divided Families, an association of Korean-Americans seeking to organize reunions with relatives in the North.

The report cited Lee Cha-hee, secretary-general of the coalition, as saying that the State Department official said the department considers the issue of divided families as a priority and that reunions involving Korean-Americans could take place before the next "nuclear talks."

Lee was also quoted as saying that she understands the "nuclear talks" refer to a second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that are expected to take place early next year.

Since the first-ever summit of their leaders in 2000, the two Koreas have held 21 rounds of face-to-face family reunion events, including the latest one in August. But these reunions did not involve Korean-Americans.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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