In the first formal and voluntary contact between North and South Korea during 23 years of confrontation, Red Cross representatives from both sides met at Panmunjom armistice village yesterday (Friday).
In the first formal and voluntary contact between North and South Korea during 23 years of confrontation, Red Cross representatives from both sides met at Panmunjom armistice village yesterday (Friday). They were making the first tentative step towards location an estimated 10 million people separated from their families since the Korean War ended.
Though the meeting lasted a mere four minutes, the two sides exchanged documents -- including the South Korean suggestion that there should be preliminary talks in a month's time.
SYNOPSIS: For the first time in twenty-three years of confrontation, North and South Korean representatives made formal, voluntary contact on Friday. Red Cross delegates from both sides were meeting at Panmunjom armistice village in an effort to help relocate families separated by war. The South Korean delegates arrived first.
On the stroke of noon, the North Korean Red Cross representatives entered to begin the historic contact between the two sides. At stake is the future happiness of an estimated ten-million people, separated from their families during the Korean War of 1950 to 1953. The two sides exchanged credentials and documents from the Presidents of their respective societies.
Newsmen later learned that the South Korean documents contained a proposal for initial talks between the two sides to begin on September 28th. This initial meeting would be designed to decide the time, place and agenda of a fully-fledged meeting. The South Koreans have suggested that five representatives from each side should be present at the preliminary meeting. After a brief conversation at Friday's encounter, the two sides shock hands and parted. The whole meeting had lasted only four minutes. but it was nevertheless an important and historic resumption of contact between the two sides.