Channel News Asia/Youtube
Dozens of Korean families separated during the Korean War were finally reunited after decades apart. In total, almost 300 members of 98 families were able to reconnect in North Korea.
According to Fox News, thousands applied to be reunited, but the Kim regime would only allow those with immense loyalty to Kim Jong Un to attend. This is largely due to the fact that North Korean officials did not want the people of North Korea to see the conditions of the outside world.
The families will only be able to see each other for a few hours over three days. In total, the families will have 11 hours together under intense supervision.
Most of the reconnected families had not seen each other for at least 65 years. Some were not even sure if their relatives were alive.
“How are you so old?” Kim Dal-in, 92, asked his sister, Yu Dok, after gazing at her briefly in silence. “I’ve lived this long to meet you,” replied the 85-year-old, wiping away tears. https://t.co/sbgt95pswm
— Hyonhee Shin (@HeeShin) August 20, 2018
“I never imagined this day would come...I didn’t even know if he was alive or not": Korean families separated by war meet for first time in more than sixty yearshttps://t.co/Ud35HQLQ2v pic.twitter.com/qzn918PRBt
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) August 20, 2018
“Lee Geum-seom, 92, wailed as she laid eyes upon her son, Ri Sang-chol, 71, for the first time in over 60 years.” For many elderly Koreans divided by #DMZ, today was a last chance to meet the parent, sibling, spouse they last saw in the 1950s. #KoreanWar https://t.co/9uAivOkJ1J
— Jean H. Lee (@newsjean) August 20, 2018
According to CNN, South Korean President Moon Jae-in pledged to work to speed up reunification efforts as the population continues to age, saying, “As a member of a divided family myself, I sympathize deeply with that sadness and pain. There really is no time.”
These reunification efforts are undoubtedly a sign of improved relations between North and South Korea, a move President Donald Trump has hoped for. President Moon spent time in the United States and worked closely with the president in preparation for the meeting with North Korea.
Just had a long and very good talk with President Moon of South Korea. Things are going very well, time and location of meeting with North Korea is being set. Also spoke to Prime Minister Abe of Japan to inform him of the ongoing negotiations.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 28, 2018
Of course, the Korean family reunions were not the only reunions to spring out of the negotiations between North Korea and other world leaders. Trump also negotiated the remains of the deceased American soldiers to be returned to the United States, as well as the safe return of American detainees in North Korea.