11 July 2024

Hundreds of South and North Koreans torn apart by the 1950-53 Korean War met for the first time in over six decades in a tearful, long-dreamed-of family reunion on Monday, Yonhap News reported.

Eighty-nine South Koreans, mostly in their 70s and older, met about 180 long-separated family members, including brothers, sisters and other relatives living in North Korea, at Mount Kumgang, a scenic resort on the North’s east coast.

Some of them were so frail that they were in wheelchairs and supported by others during the meeting that lasted for two hours from 3 pm. The meeting was the first session of reunions planned during their three-day stay that will end on Wednesday.

“Sangchol!” Lee Keum-seom, a 92-year-old South Korean woman, burst into tears as she called her son’s name when they met for the first time in decades. Her son also wept.

Lee was split from the rest of her family, including her husband and son, in the middle of the Korean War.