A brief reunion and tearful farewell
Posted on : Nov.1,2010
Kim Seong-bae, 68, wipes away tears with his sleeve as separated family members from North Korea depart aboard buses. Separated family members from North Korea and South Korea met at Mt. Kumgang resort in North Korea and had lunch together on Oct. 31, the second day of the family reunions. This event marked the first three-day reunion held in thirteen months.
A total of 533 people from 97 families held group and individual meetings at the first reunions from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1. The family members had been separated during the 1950-53 Korean War. In particular, four North Koreans who were South Korean soldiers during the war participated for the first time in the history of inter-Korean reunions. They included Li Jong-ryul, 90, the oldest representative from North Korea. Li met his son, who was a 100-day old baby when they were separated.
South Korea estimates that 500 South Korean POWs are still alive in North Korea, although the government declared them dead in 1957. North Korea, however, denies the existence of South Korean POWs, claiming that they all voluntarily chose North Korea.