Both Koreas meet to arrange reunions of families split by war

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Chinese President Xi Jinping have discussed measures to bolster "strategic and tactical" cooperation between the two countries in a second meeting, the North's state media says.

The Korean leaders in their first meeting agreed to hold the family reunions around August 15, an anniversary celebrated in both countries marking the Korean Peninsula's independence from Japanese colonial rule at the end of World War II in 1945.

The Red Cross organisations from the two countries will arrange reunions for about 200 selected people from both sides, they said in a joint statement after a meeting of delegations.

Kim and Moon met again in May.

The reunion program began in earnest after a historic inter-Korean summit in 2000 and they were initially held annually, but strained cross-border relations have made them rare. Their two summits have opened various channels of peace talks between the countries.

In April, North Korea and South Korea agreed to talks to end the ongoing 65 year conflict.

Now, South Korean officials hope they can discuss plans for a survey to confirm surviving members of war-separated families with the possibility of home town visits and exchanges of letters. Almost 20,000 Koreans had participated in 20 rounds of face-to-face reunions held between the countries since 2000.

The limited rounds of reunions are vastly insufficient to meet the demands of aging relatives, who are mostly in their 80s and 90s, South Korean officials say. By March, 56 percent of the 131,531 South Koreans who applied to take part in reunions had died, it said.

"We should make active efforts for good results today by trusting and being considerate of each other", said Pak Yong Il, the leader of the North's delegation.

ANTI-US propaganda that was prevalent around North Korea just a matter of weeks ago is starting to disappear, according to tour guides and people inside the reclusive nation.

The president's comments also ran counter to remarks made by Defense Secretary James Mattis, who said he wasn't aware that North Korea had taken any steps yet toward denuclearization.

He vowed that Moscow also would try to help settle problems concerning North Korea.

Park was unwilling to provide a clear answer when asked whether North Korea had raised the issue during the meeting.

Trump, who has been leading an worldwide drive to press North Korea to abandon development of nuclear missiles capable of reaching the United States, told reporters after the June 12 summit that Kim had pledged to dismantle one of his missile installations.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday North Korea was blowing up four of its big test sites and that a process of "total denuclearisation. has already started", but officials said there was no such evidence since a landmark summit last week.

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