Bittersweet reunions for North and South Korean families separated since war
Elderly relatives unlikely to see each other again
Saturday 22 February 2014
Koreans families separated for more than 60 years have seen each other for the first and possibly last time at a reunion for North and South Korean relatives.
Hundreds of South Koreans have been allowed to briefly enter North Korea in a rare thaw in relations between the two countries.
The North had threatened to cancel the scheme ahead of South Korean military drills but has permitted reunions until Tuesday.
Many of the travellers were elderly survivors of the bitter civil war and travelled in wheelchairs and even ambulances to see relatives for a final time.
South Korean Park Un-hyeong, 93, left his North Korean daughter after spending three days together on Saturday.
Trying to console her as she wept, he said: “You shouldn't cry on this good day.”
Lee Oh-hwan, 84, had to be treated by a medical team when she became short of breath from crying too hard while leaving her North Korean sister.
Ri Ok Bin, 72, tried to calm her down, pleading with her not to get sick.
Some tried to remain optimistic, including Woo Young-shik, from South Korea, who wrote a note to his aunt saying: “Let's meet again later...stay healthy until the day we reunite.”
After the end of the civil in 1953, both governments banned divided families visiting each other or even exchanging letters, phone calls and emails.
During a previous improvement in relations, about 22,000 Koreans had reunions but according to South Korea, none were offered a second visit.
Additional reporting by Associated Press
- 1 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...
Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...
£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...