Asia Pacific

60 Years On, Families Are Still Separated in Korea

South Korea

© Shutterstock

October 19, 2015 21:04 EDT

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 /

We bring you perspectives from around the world. Help us to inform and educate. Your donation is tax-deductible. Join over 400 people to become a donor or you could choose to be a sponsor.

Support Fair Observer

We rely on your support for our independence, diversity and quality.

For more than 10 years, Fair Observer has been free, fair and independent. No billionaire owns us, no advertisers control us. We are a reader-supported nonprofit. Unlike many other publications, we keep our content free for readers regardless of where they live or whether they can afford to pay. We have no paywalls and no ads.

In the post-truth era of fake news, echo chambers and filter bubbles, we publish a plurality of perspectives from around the world. Anyone can publish with us, but everyone goes through a rigorous editorial process. So, you get fact-checked, well-reasoned content instead of noise.

We publish 2,500+ voices from 90+ countries. We also conduct education and training programs on subjects ranging from digital media and journalism to writing and critical thinking. This doesn’t come cheap. Servers, editors, trainers and web developers cost money.
Please consider supporting us on a regular basis as a recurring donor or a sustaining member.

Will you support FO’s journalism?

We rely on your support for our independence, diversity and quality.

Donation Cycle

Donation Amount

The IRS recognizes Fair Observer as a section 501(c)(3) registered public charity (EIN: 46-4070943), enabling you to claim a tax deduction.

Make Sense of the World

Unique Insights from 2,500+ Contributors in 90+ Countries

Support Fair Observer

Support Fair Observer by becoming a sustaining member

Become a Member