North Korea has suddenly demanded 500 000 tonnes of rice and 300 000 tonnes of fertilizer in exchange for further family reunions between South and North Koreans. Scheduled for this Saturday at the jointly run Mt. Kumgang resort in North Korea, 100 people from either country will be reunited for the first time since being separated by the Korean War in the 50s. It will also mark the first reunions in over a year between the countries. South Korea wants the reunions to happen more often – as much as 9 times a year due to the rapidly aging population of Korean War families, but the DPRK is demanding aid in return for the reunions. The North is also trying to resume tours at the jointly run Mt. Kumgang resort, an important currency generator for a regime under harsh economic sanctions from much of the westernized world. Following a tourism ban in April after the Cheonan incident, the North seized property at the resort, and tours have halted ever since. South Korean officials have stated that further discussions will need to take place at a government level in the future, as right now talks involving reunions are managed by Red Cross organizations from both sides of the border.
Source: Yahoo! News via AFP