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North and South Korea hold talks on sports exchanges

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, June 18th, 2018

Head of the North Korean delegation, Ri Son Gwon shakes hands with South Korean counterpart Cho Myoung-gyon as they exchange documents after their meeting at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas. Yonhap via REUTERS

North and South Korea held a meeting at Panmunjom in the demilitarised zone on Monday (June 18) to discuss sports exchanges.

The South Korean delegation, led by the Secretary-General of the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee, Jeon Choong-ryul, and their North Korean counterparts headed by Vice Minister of Physical Culture and Sports, Won Kil U, discussed joint participation in the upcoming 2018 Asian Games and a unification basketball game.

Earlier this month, Seoul’s Unification Minister, Cho Myoung-gyon, held high-level talks with the North and agreed to hold additional meetings on family reunions, military, and sports exchanges.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is a supporter of the so-called ‘Sunshine policy’, a principle from two decades ago that said engagement through dialogue and economic and cultural exchanges would bring about a change in the North and foster peace between the two Koreas. — Reuters

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Koreas’ first ladies visit Pyongyang children’s hospital, music university

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

North Korea’s First Lady Ri Sol Ju (Left) and South Korea’s First Lady Kim Jung-sook (Right) | REUTERS

South Korean first lady Kim Jung-sook visited a children’s hospital and music university with her North Korean counterpart Ri Sol Ju in Pyongyang on Tuesday (September 18), a tour that took place on the sidelines their husbands’ inter-Korean summit.

Ri accompanied Kim’s visit to the Okryu Children’s Hospital and the Kim Won Gyun University of Music, while North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in were holding their meeting in the headquarters of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

South Korea’s music producer Kim Hyung-suk, singer Ailee and boy band member Zico from Block B joined the first ladies’ tour to the hospital and music college.

The footage provided by the Pyongyang Press Corps showed Kim greeting the hospital workers with Ri before watching an orchestra performance at the university.

On Wednesday (September 19), Kim is scheduled to visit the Mangyongdae School Children’s Palace, an educational institution for art, music, and sports for young talent. It is unknown Ri will be accompanying Kim for the second day of the state visit. — Reuters

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Illegal recruiter promising P100K salary in South Korea falls in entrapment

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

An illegal recruiter promising as much as P150,000 monthly salary for a factory job in South Korea was nabbed by authorities.

Flora Guzman was reported by three of her hopeful recruits after she demanded medical and training fees ranging from P70,000 – P150,000 but failed to send any of them abroad.

The victims said Guzman even asked for additional P30,000 for the supposed purchase of tickets.

This is when CIDG Anti-Transnational Crime Unit chief PSupt Roque Merdegia, Jr. began setting up an entrapment operation at a mall in Alabang, Muntinlupa where Guzman was eventually captured.

“Ito namang mga suspek ay hinihikayat pang mag participate sa pre-departure orientation seminar (PDOS) yung mga biktima dahil yun na lang daw ang kulang kaya kailangan nilang umattend sa PDOS at magbigay ng additional P10,000 para sa ticket (The suspect even encouraged the victims to participate in the pre-departure orientation seminar. She said they need to attend one and pay additional P10,000 for the ticket) ,” Merdegia said

He added that the police are also looking for Guzman’s accomplice, Michelle de Quiroz.

Guzman will be slapped with charges of estafa and illegal recruitment.

“Dumadaan sa kanya ang pera and we were surprised na siya pa ang nagka conduct ng pre-departure orientation seminar (The money went through her. We were surprised that she was conducting pre-departure orientation seminars), Merdegia said.

The case serves as a reminder to always check the legitimacy of recruitment agents and agencies at POEA to avoid falling prey to criminals. – Lea Ylagan

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South Korean families heading north to reunite with long-lost relatives

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, August 20th, 2018

A man selected as a participant for a reunion shows pictures of his deceased mother and little brothers living in North Korea, at a hotel used as a waiting place in Sokcho, South Korea, August 19, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

A group of South Koreans gathered in the northeast coastal city of Sokcho Sunday before heading to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) for a reunion with their war-separated families.

The family reunion, which is held during the celebration of the National Liberation Day of Korea, was announced in the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace after leaders from the two sides met in April.

Before meeting their family members on the other side, the South Koreans registered for the reunions at a hotel in Sokcho, got their health checked and were briefed on the procedures and protocols for the event.

The two sides will hold two rounds of reunion meetings. The South Koreans will leave for the venue Monday morning to stay there for three days.

The second round of reunion, involving 83 DPRK families who applied for gatherings with SouthKorean relatives, will be held from Friday to Sunday at the same venue, according to SouthKorean media.

Many separated families have not heard of their missing relatives in nearly 70 years since the Korean War was halted by armistice in 1953. Some waited a lifetime for news of their family which never came. For those who are still alive, everyone has a story of bitterness hanging on to their missing loved ones for decades.

Seventy-seven-year-old Kim Hyeja was finally about to meet her brother after 73 years. Kim’s mother took her two-year-old brother out one day in 1945 and she has not heard from them since.

Kim said she wanted to learn how her mother lived through years of separation with family until her death when she meets her brother.

“I think about my mother all these years, about how sad she’d be, thinking about her daughter. I’m very heart-broken every time this comes to mind,” said Kim.

Ninety-one-year-old Lee Geumsum will meet her son, who got separated from her in 1950.

“I’m sure I won’t recognize him. He was three, but now he’s 71. And he won’t recognize me either. I want to ask him how he lived through all these years, whether he was raised by a new mother, or did his father raise him on his own,” said Lee.

Still those who are about to reunite with their family members are the lucky few, as the vast majority of separated relatives are still waiting to see their loved ones in their lifetime.

“As for those separated families who have not get the chance to reunite, I hope their problem will get solved. Whether it’s the leadership in the north, or in the south, both sides should work towards letting these separated families to reunite at any time with great foresight, to fulfill the wishes of these seniors over 90 years old,” said Lee Youngbu, a senior South Korean heading north to meet his relatives. — Reuters

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