Rival Koreas fix date for talks for preparing reunions for war-separated families

North and South Korea have fixed a meeting to prepare for more reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

South Korea's Unification Ministry said Saturday that the first preparatory talk will be held on Sept. 7 at the border village of Panmunjom. The ministry believes the next reunions could take place as early as during October.

The rival Koreas announced plans for the reunions earlier this week as part of measures to reduce animosity. The agreement came after the countries' senior officials held marathon talks to defuse built-up tension that had pushed the countries to the brink of a possible military confrontation. The Koreas have held 19 reunions since 2000 but none since February last year.