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U.S. will work toward reunions of Korean-Americans with family members in N. Korea: Blinken
Updated: 2021-06-09 06:57:15 KST
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has pledged full efforts to help realize long-awaited reunions of Korean-Americans with their loved ones in North Korea.
Blinken showed such support in a hearing on Monday when asked for efforts on the matter by U.S. Congresswoman Grace Meng who proposed the Divided Families Reunification Act in February.
Calling the issue "heart wrenching," Blinken said Washington will work with Seoul to make sure that the interests of Korean-Americans who have been separated from their families are reflected in the U.S. efforts.
Currently, as many as 100-thousand Americans of Korean descent are believed to have family members living in the North.
The two Koreas have held some 20 family reunions between their separated families, but no reunions for those in the U.S. have taken place.
Seoul's unification ministry on Tuesday vowed to work on the family reunions for Korean-Americans as soon as the opportunity presents itself after the resumption of inter-Korean talks.
The U.S. State Department last week also showed support for Seoul's recent decision to build more video reunion centers for families separated by the Korean War.

"We believe the expansion of the number of video reunion centers is necessary so that we can use them immediately when inter-Korean relations improve."

For its plan to establish seven more of those centers nationwide, Seoul's unification ministry will spend over a million U.S. dollars.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.
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