Reunion with long-lost family members

Posted : 2018-08-20 09:27 Updated : 2018-08-30 11:08

The reunion is a rare occasion for those who had sought in vain for decades to see their families in the North. This week's event is the first of its kind since October 2015. The two Koreas have held just 20 rounds of face-to-face family reunions since the first-ever inter-Korean summit in 2000. The 89 people fortunately chosen to join this week's event represent just a small fraction of about 57,000 people waiting to meet their loved ones in the North again.


A man who has been selected as a participant for a reunion holds an old picture at a hotel used as a waiting place in Sokcho, South Korea, August 19, 2018. Reuters

South Korean separated families check their health to go to North Korea to meet their North Korean family at Hanwha resort on Sokcho in Gangwon-do, South Korea, 19 August 2018. Some 93 South Koreans are in a first group who will meet North Korean relatives in North Korea for three days starting from 20 to 22 August and 88 second group North Korean family will meet separated families from South Korea from 24 to 26 Agugst. EPA

Participant Ahn Jong-ho speaks to reporters as he arrives at a hotel and gathering point ahead of the inter-Korean family reunion in Sokcho on August 19, 2018. - Dozens of elderly, frail South Koreans gathered on August 19 on the eve of their first meeting with family members in the North in nearly seven decades separated by the 1950-53 Korean War. AFP

Lee Geum-seom, who has been selected as a participant for a reunion, is helped by volunteers as she arrives at a hotel used as a waiting place in Sokcho, South Korea, August 19, 2018. Reuters

South Korean resident Lee Kwan-joo (93, R) and Lee Byung-joo (89, L) check their name to go to North Korea to meet their North Korean family at Hanwha resort on Sokcho in Gangwon-do, South Korea, 19 August 2018. EPA

A South Korean separated family member holds a his family pictures to give his North Korean family at Hanwha resort on Sokcho in Gangwon-do, South Korea, 19 August 2018. EPA

In this Aug. 17, 2018, photo, Kim Kwang-ho, 79, speaks as some gifts for his family members in North Korea are displayed on a table during an interview at his home in Seoul, South Korea. Kim is among about 200 war-separated South Koreans and their family members who are crossing into North Korea for heart-wrenching meetings with relatives they haven't seen for decades. The week-long event beginning Monday, Aug. 20, at North Korea's Diamond Mountain resort come as the rival Koreas boost reconciliation efforts amid a diplomatic push to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis. AP

In this Aug. 17, 2018, photo, Lee Soo-nam, 76, explains about photos showing his family members during an interview at his home in Seoul, South Korea. Lee is among about 200 war-separated South Koreans and their family members who are crossing into North Korea for heart-wrenching meetings with relatives they haven't seen for decades. AP

Moon Hyun-sook who has been selected as a participant for a reunion rests at a hotel used as a waiting place in Sokcho, South Korea, August 19, 2018. Reuters

A South Korean participant for a reunion sits inside a bus as she arrives at the South's CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine), just south of the DMZ in Goseong, South Korea, August 20, 2018. Reuters

South Korean participants for a reunion arrive at the South's CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine), just south of the DMZ in Goseong, South Korea, August 20, 2018. Reuters

South Korean participants for a reunion arrive at the South's CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine), just south of the DMZ in Goseong, South Korea, August 20, 2018. Reuters

A soldier stands at the Goseong observatory as he waits for a convoy of buses carrying participants of an inter-Korean family reunion making its way through the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) towards North Korea (background), in Goseong on August 20, 2018. Reuters

Buses transporting South Korean participants for a reunion travel on the road leading to North Korea's Mount Kumgang resort, in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas, in this picture taken from the Unification Observatory, just south of the DMZ in Goseong, South Korea, August 20, 2018. Reuters

Lee Keun-sum, left, 92, from South Korea, hugs his son Ri Sang-chul, 71, from the North, at Mount Kumgang, a scenic resort on the North's east coast. They split in 1951, when the son was only four, at the height of Korean War. Eighty-nine South Koreans, mostly in their 70s and older, met about 180 long-separated relatives in the reunion, which will continue through Wednesday. Korea Pool

Ham Sung-chan, right, 93, from South Korea hugs his younger brother Ham Dong-chan, 79, from the North at Mount Kumgang, a scenic resort on the North's east coast. Eighty-nine South Koreans, mostly in their 70s and older, met about 180 long-separated relatives in the reunion, which will continue through Wednesday. Yonhap

North Korean Ahn Jong Sun, 70, left, feeds her South Korean father Ahn Jong-ho, 100, during a dinner at the Diamond Mountain resort in North Korea, Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. Yonhap

South Korean Cho Kwon-hyung, 80, second from left, toasts with his North Korean family members during a dinner at the Diamond Mountain resort in North Korea, Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. Yonhap

North Koreans arrive to meet their South Korean family members during a separated family reunion meeting at the Diamond Mountain resort in North Korea, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. Yonhap

North Korean Ri Sang Chol, 71, waves to his South Korean mother Lee Keum-seom, 92, top left, on a bus to bid farewell after the Separated Family Reunion Meeting at the Diamond Mountain resort in North Korea, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018. Korea Pool

Lee Keum-seom, 92, cries on a bus as her long lost son Ri Sang Chol, 71, waves to bid farewell after the Separated Family Reunion Meeting at the Diamond Mountain resort in North Korea, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018. Korea Pool

South Korean man sees off family member living in North Korea after being separated from by the 1950-1953 Korean War, following a divided family reunion event at Mt. Kumgang, a resort on the southeastern coast of North Korea, on Aug. 26, 2018. Yonhap