December 10, 2007

"US Congress Pushes for US-N.Korea Family Reunions"

News: "A U.S. Senator said Friday that a provision calling for measures to encourage family reunions between U.S. citizens and their relatives in North Korea has been included in a bill in the U.S. Congress."

Commentary: There have been sporadic, private reunions of Korean-Americans and their separated family members and relatives in North Korea through non-governmental organizations, but this measure, if realized, would foster frequent and easier reunions. US Citizens of Korean descent were the first ones to reunite with their separated family members in North Korea, before government-sanctioned reunions took place between Koreans in the South and the North, and before the South Korean government eased the travel ban to North Korea.

What is interesting to note on this proposal is that it calls for "planning at the U.S. Embassy in Pyongyang, in the event of normalization between the two countries, to ease the way for American families to plan a reunion with their relatives in North Korea." US legislators and policymakers are, in many different ways, preparing for the distinct possibility of US-DPRK normalization. [Photo: reunions of separated families at Mt. Keumgang]

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