|Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul speaks to family members separated by the Korean War. Yonhap|
By Jung Min-ho
Reunions of family members separated by the Korean War (1950-53) will be the top priority if inter-Korean talks resume, South Korea's unification minister said Friday.
"The government will continue to seek ways to fundamentally resolve the issue," Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul said at Imjingak, a park in Paju, south of the demilitarized zone separating two Koreas.
"There are too many people and most of them are very old," he said. "South and North Koreas need to come up with the best possible ways to make their wishes come true before it's too late."
Kim made the comment as he celebrated the Chuseok holiday with members of divided families.
Last September, South and North Korea agreed to set up a permanent family reunion center, but no progress has been made since.
Tens of thousands remain separated from their family members as a result of the war, which ended in a truce. A total of 133,353 South Koreans have registered to be reunited with their long-lost loved ones in the North since 1988. Sixty percent had died as of the end of August.