Koreans hold bittersweet family reunions
A group of 82 elderly and frail South Koreans have held an emotional reunion with family members in North Korea, more than 60 years after they were separated by war.
The Burberry Handbags first North South family reunion for more than three years began about 3pm on Thursday (1700 AEDT) with a mass gathering in the main hall of a resort on North Korea’s Mount Kumgang, a Unification Ministry official said in Seoul.
The event was the result of tortuous, high level negotiations between Pyongyang and Seoul, which nearly broke down over the North’s objections to overlapping joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States.
The South Korean group and the 180 North K Burberry Handbags orean relatives who went to meet them were scheduled to dine together, and more private reunions are planned for Friday.
Officials in Seoul said that among the North Korean relatives were two fishermen who had been kidnapped by the North in the 1970s.
The South Korean group left the eastern port city of Sokcho on 10 buses, which they shared with family members brought along for physical as well as emotional support.
After crossing the heavily militarised border, they arrived at the reunion venue where a brief lunch was followed by the first sight in six decades of their long separated relatives.
The South Koreans carried bags stuffed with gifts, ranging from basic medicines to framed family photos and packets of instant noodles.
Some brought bags of fresh fruit, which they planned to offer in a joint prayer ceremony with their reunited siblings to their late parents.
Millions of Koreans were separated by the 1950 53 Korean War, and the vast majority have since died without having any communication with surviving relatives.
Because the conflict ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty, the two Koreas technically remain at war, and direct exchanges of letters or telephone calls are banned.
The reunion program bega Burberry Handbags n after a historic North South summit in 2000, but the waiting list has Burberry Handbags always been far larger than the numbers that could be accommodated.