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    In this Feb. 10, 2016, file photo, visitors look at a map of the Korean peninsula at the exhibition hall of the unification observatory in Paju, South Korea

    Seoul, Pyongyang Kick Off Talks on Humanitarian Issues - Reports

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    North Korean officials met Friday with South Korea's Red Cross delegates north of the border to discuss humanitarian issues, media said.

    The morning session at a hotel on Mount Kumgang on North Korea's east coast began at 10 a.m. local time. It touched on post-Korean war family reunions, according to the South's Yonhap news agency.

    "It is in and of itself meaningful in that we have come together in our famous mountain to hold Red Cross talks and discuss a reunion of people torn from their families and relatives," Pak Yong Il, vice chair of North Korea's Peaceful Reunification Committee, said at the start of the talks.

    The session reportedly lasted for 45 minutes and is expected to be followed by more in-depth talks. Other issues on the agenda include the detention of South Koreans in the North and North Koreans' defection to the South, which Pyongyang sees as kidnapping.

    The talks were agreed by Seoul and Pyongyang on June 1 as a follow-up to a historic April summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un of North Korea at the Panmunjom truce village, where they signed a joint declaration agreeing to proceed with reunion programs.

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    Tags:
    agreement, families, reunification, South Korea, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK)
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