The DPRK – North Korea – has agreed to South Korea’s proposal for a resumption of reunions for families who’ve been separated since the 1950-53 Korean war, is the DPRK getting soft under it’s new, youthfilled ruler?
The usually stoic North has agreed to hold the event during the traditional Chuseok – 추석 harvest – holiday that falls in mid September, as suggested by the South.
Pyongyang’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea made the announcement this morning in a statement by state media. The communist bastion also proposed another round of indirect family reunions via video conference in early – October 4 is the anniversary of the 2007 inter-Korean summit – the Committee said in a statement via the North’s official Korean Central News Agency ::::
The move has come just days after the South’s president, Park Geun-Hye, last Thursday urged Pyongyang to “open its heart” and agree to hold the first family reunions since 2010.
Officials of the Red Cross from both sides will hold a meeting on August 23 as proposed by Seoul to discuss details, the North said, suggesting the Mount Kumgang resort in the North as the venue for the talks.
“Now is the time for the North and the South to make joint efforts for the improvement of the North-South ties and peace and common prosperity on the Korean peninsula,” said the statement.
Ties have improved recently after months of high tensions. Last week the two sides agreed to work on reopening the Kaesong joint industrial zone shut down in April.
The North also proposed this morning a separate meeting on August 22 to discuss reopening the Kumgang mountain resort, and promised to discuss Seoul’s key concerns including ensuring the safety of tourists.
Kumgang was the first major inter-Korean cooperation project, and thousands of South Koreans visited the Seoul-funded resort in the North between 1998 and 2008.
The South suspended the tours after a North Korean soldier shot dead a tourist who strayed into a restricted zone.
“The resumption of the tours … will bring bigger joy to all the Koreans,” the statement said.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – DPRK aka North Korea, our second favourite peoples republic – has unveiled what it says is its first domestically produced smartphone, although industry analysts say the “Arirang”, built around Google’s Android OS, is most likely made in China.
The Arirang – complete with touch screen, high-pixel camera, and its very own set of apps – is being offered for sale to North Korea’s reported two million mobile phone users, all of whom are prevented from contacting the outside world.
The phone, named after a famous Korean folk song, has already gained the approval of the country’s President, Kim Jong-un, Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency – KCNA – reported.
Visiting a factory where the phone was said to be produced, Mr Kim was reported to have praised its Korean-style applications, which he says provided best convenience to users while guaranteeing security. State security, that is :: Read the full article »»»»