Koreas: Reunions again

Photo credit to: https://www.bbc.com


Families separated by the Korean War in the early 1950’s were temporarily reunited again and it started on Monday at a mountain resort in North Korea, according to South Korean media, in the first such event in nearly three years.


Reunions will be held at Mt. Kumgang on the southeastern coast of North Korea, with the first lasting from Monday to Wednesday and the second from Friday to Sunday.


Eighty-nine South Koreans who were accompanied by their family members arrived at the mountain resort shortly before 1 p.m. after leaving the South Korean city of Sokcho, near the border, in the morning, according to the South’s Unification Ministry.


For the second round, 83 people picked by North Korea are scheduled to meet their family members from the South during the three-day period.


South Korean President Moon Jae In said Monday that turning the temporary reunions into a regular event should be the top-priority task for the two Koreas to work together on.


A South Korean participant, an 88-year-old man, said he could not sleep well the previous night in anticipation of his reunion with his daughter in the North.


Hwang was separated from her when she was 3. For the reunion, she will bring a daughter with her, he said, while predicting that this would be his only chance to see her again in his lifetime.


Families were carried by bus and were seen taking off by South Korean officials where the participants had gathered for the visit.


The first reunion event was held in 1985. The reunions were held more frequently after an inter-Korean summit in 2000. Reunion events, including those via video, involved over 20,000 Koreans from both sides between 2000 and 2015.


The previous reunion was held in October 2015. Reunions stopped soon as Korean ties worsened after North Korea test fired it’s fourth nuclear weapon in early 2016.


Reference: North, South Korea resume reunions of divided families


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