South Korea

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60 Years On, Families Are Still Separated in Korea

North and South Korea get ready for a rare reunification ceremony for families divided by the political conflict.

Since the Korean War ended without a peace treaty in 1953, thousands of families have been separated by the new border that now divides the country. In 2000, an agreement had been reached that would allow families to apply for annual reunions.

However, due to hostile relations between North and South Korea, these reunions have been rare, with just a handful of people being allowed to meet their long-lost families after a selection process that rivals the toughest job interview.

With nearly 70,000 people on the waiting list in South Korea, most of them have not seen their relatives for over 60 years, some hoping to meet for the first time.

Unfortunately, all they will get is a week together, after which a full communications embargo between the two Koreas will resume, which has divided the peninsula, the nation and the human heart for too long.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.

Photo Credit: Meunierd /

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