South Korea has made similar proposals in the past but the President’s latest overture on Saturday came after the two sides last month held their first reunions of families separated by 1950-53 Korean War.

President Park says more, regular family reunions should be held because time is running out for elderly people separated by the war and politics.

Analysts say North Korea has been reluctant to increase family reunions due to worries that doing so could open the country to influence from more affluent South Korea and threaten its grip on power.

This year commemorates the 95th year of the declaration of the nation’s independence from Japanese colonization on March 1, 1919.
There have been 19 family reunions since the first in 1985.

(Agencies)

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