There'll 'most likely' be another summit with Kim

Lamar Ellis
August 22, 2018

Former Chinese President Hu Jintao was the last Chinese leader to visit North Korea - in October 2005.

Lee Keum-seom, 92, who burst into tears when she saw her now 71-year-old son, Sang-chol, for the first time in decades a day earlier, couldn't control her emotions when they met again. A woman weeps as she greets a grandfather she never got to know.

Much of the awkwardness centers on the defining fact of the Korean Peninsula: For decades it has been divided between the authoritarian North, originally backed by the Soviet Union and then, during the war, communist China, and the US -backed capitalist South. Citizens from both nations, especially the elderly who remember the bitterness and bloodshed of the war, often wear their nationalism on their sleeves, and some South Koreans have complained that their relatives take every chance to score propaganda points for their authoritarian nation.

The meetings started around 10:15 a.m. after the North Korean family members arrived at the resort, bearing gifts such as ginseng, Korean traditional seasonings and North Korean cosmetics, according to the South Korean press pool.

They spent about three hours privately in their hotel rooms, with packed lunches delivered to the rooms.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog said it did not find any indication that North Korea had stopped its nuclear activities, adding to doubts about the country's willingness to abandon its arsenal. The Unification Ministry estimates there are now about 600,000 to 700,000 South Koreans with immediate or extended relatives in North Korea.

"That's a lie", the nephew replied, waving both hands. South Korea's government instructs participants not to criticize the North's leadership and economy during the reunions.

The second part, which will be held from Thursday to Sunday, will involve 83 North Koreans, who will reunite with their family members from the South.

"How can you put down our supreme dignity?"

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They also ate lunch together in the rooms right after the morning meeting.

"My sister is pretty, isn't she?" Some experts say warming inter-Korean relations could suffer a setback if the North refuses to accept a US-led call for complete nuclear disarmament, and that is expected to figure into another inter-Korean summit set for next month in Pyongyang. He smiled and fed his sister a snack bar. "But, they are alive and well", Bae Sun-hee said.

The North sees the reunions as a crucial tool to win concessions from the South, but it has rejected the South's demands to increase the number of reunions and the people participating in them.

"We think that rowing is the best sport to symbolise harmony", said Hwang. In the South they are selected by lottery, but in the North it's believed people are chosen based on their loyalty to the country's authoritarian regime. Among them, almost 86 percent of the group are 70 or older. Before August, 20 rounds of face-to-face family reunions had been held since the first inter-Korean summit in 2000. Another 3,700 exchanged video messages with their North Korean relatives.

"It's why President Trump withdrew from the wretched Iran nuclear deal, it's why he has re-imposing economic sanctions, It's why we've worked with our friends in Europe to convince them of the need to take stronger steps against the Iranian nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program", stated Bolton.

There is a committee of Beijing officials now coordinating Xi's visit to North Korea and his next summit with Kim Jong Un, according to reports.

Koreans are taught from a young age to respect their elders, a cultural norm that has smoothed the path since athletes from the North and South were thrown together after just a few weeks' training. He brought along clothes, shoes, utensils and toiletries for his 48-year-old North Korean granddaughter, Baek Yong-ok, pictured here. And there are a lot of things we're doing that we can't talk about specifically.

"I feel like I am having a dream even now", she said.

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