World

North And South Korean Families Have Touching Reunion

Dozens of families separated by the Korean War saw each other for the first time in this reunion put together by North and South Korea.

North And South Korean Families Have Touching Reunion
BBC
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Imagine not seeing a member of your family for six decades and then seeing them again for the first time. It looks something like this.

*Hugging Crying*

Dozens of Korean families separated by the Korean War saw each other for the first time in this reunion put together by North and South Korea. (Via YTN)

Many came in wheelchairs and even some in ambulances due to health concerns, but it was all worth it when the families were able to reunite. 

One man in his 70s who participated in the reunion told the BBC, "It's a true miracle; I'm so elated. All that was missing in my life was my brother, and now that I can see him again, I'd have no regrets whatsoever if I were to die tomorrow."

Since the end of the Korean War, phone calls, letters and emails between the two countries were all forbidden, leaving families who were split by the peninsula with no way of contacting one another. (Via PBS)

These emotional reunions happened three times a year for about eight years straight with no problems, but in 2010, the reunions abruptly stopped and didn't start up again until now. Many are touting this reunion as a small sign of progress for relations between the two nations. 

"I think it's a small but significant sign that relations at the moment are better than they have been." (Via BBC)

More than 70,000 South Koreans are on a waiting list for the family reunions and nearly half of those are over 80. According to the New York Times, 3,800 of those on the waiting list die each year without attending the Korean reunion.