UN chief welcomes event reuniting families on the Korean Peninsula

UN Photo/Mark Garten Secretary-General António Guterres speaks to the media at UN Headquarters. (file)

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

The decision to allow scores of people from South Korea to reunite with their relatives north of the border has been welcomed by the UN Secretary-General.

The majority of those selected to take part in the week-long inter-Korean family reunion event, which began on Monday, are elderly.

Many have not seen each other since the end of the Korean War in 1953.

“(The Secretary-General) hopes that such reunion events will become routine and include many more people, including affected Koreans worldwide, allow participants to meet privately, and to remain in contact after the meetings,” his spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said in a statement, issued on Monday evening.

The reunions, which are taking place in Mount Kumgang, North Korea, are the first to be held since 2015.

They stem from the historic summit held in April between the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, and his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in.

In the outcome document, the two leaders further declared “there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula”.  They also “confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearisation, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.”

The UN chief has welcomed the efforts by the two countries to continue their engagement and to take steps to build confidence and trust.

“The Secretary-General looks forward to discussing how he can further support the parties in their diplomatic efforts to bring sustainable peace, security, and complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula during the upcoming high-level week of the United Nations General Assembly,” the statement continued

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