Kirk urges more reunions of North Korean families
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) on Tuesday praised the effort to reunite hundreds of North and South Korean families who were separated during the Korean War, and called on the governments of both countries to continue the work.
The North and South Korean governments agreed in September to hold family reunions, albeit only temporarily with family members reunited allowed to connect for only a few days in both countries.
“Though hundreds of Korean families were reunited this week in North Korea, the fact remains that more than 66,000 families have been divided for decades," Kirk said. "The State Department should continue to prioritize these reunification efforts and create an official channel to assist in the reunification of Korean Americans, including 60,000 in Illinois, with their relatives in North Korea.”
Kirk has advocated for reunification efforts since 2007, when he was was co-chair of the Congressional Commission on Divided Families. As recently as this June, Kirk co-sponsored a Senate resolution with U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) urging the U.S. and North Korean governments to do more to facilitate reunions between Korean Americans and their North Korean families.