Joy, disbelief as Korean families separated by war meet after 65 yearshttps://indianexpress.com/photos/world-news/joy-disbelief-as-korean-families-separated-by-war-meet-after-65-years-532027/

Joy, disbelief as Korean families separated by war meet after 65 years

About 90 families from North and South Korea wept and embraced as the neighbors held their first reunion events in three years for relatives wrenched apart by the Korean War for more than six decades.

About 90 families from North and South Korea wept and embraced as the neighbors held their first reunion events in three years for relatives wrenched apart by the Korean War for more than six decades. (Source: REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji)

The brief reunions were scheduled for a total of just 11 hours over a course of three days in the North’s tourist resort of Mount Kumgang after the neighbors renewed exchanges this year following a standoff over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs. (Source: Yonhap via REUTERS)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed to the reunion events at a summit in April. (Source: Yonhap via REUTERS)

About 330 South Koreans from 89 families, many in wheelchairs, embraced 185 separated relatives from the North with tears, joy and disbelief. Some struggled to recognize family not glimpsed in more than 60 years. (Source: Yonhap via REUTERS)

More than 57,000 South Korean survivors had registered for the family reunions, which usually end in painful farewells. (Source: Yonhap via REUTERS)

For years, Seoul has called for regular meetings between separated families, including the use of video conferences, but the program often fell victim to fragile ties.(Source: Yonhap via REUTERS)

The reunions should be scaled up sharply, held regularly, and include exchanges of visits and letters, said Moon, himself a member of a separated family from the North’s eastern port city of Hungnam.(Source: Yonhap via REUTERS)

From Thursday, 88 more groups of relatives will meet, comprised of 469 individuals from the South and 128 from the North, Seoul’s Unification Ministry says. (Source: Yonhap via REUTERS)

The reunions, which began in 1985, can be a traumatic experience, say survivors, who know they are unlikely to see their relatives again, since many are 80 or older and first-timers typically get priority for visits.(Source: Yonhap via REUTERS)

About 132,600 individuals were listed as separated families by the end of July. Of the 57,000 survivors, 41.2 percent are in their 80s and 21.4 percent in their 90s, government data show. (Source: Yonhap via REUTERS)