North And South Korea To Reunite Families Separated By War 65 Years Ago
Seoul has announced that North and South Korea have agreed to reunite families that were divided by the 1950 Korean War.
The temporary reunions will take place at North Korea's Diamond Mountain resort from August 20 to August 26, Seoul's Unification Ministry said.
According to the Independent, the countries will each send 100 participants to the reunions. Those with mobility problems will be allowed to bring a relative to help them.
It's safe to say that these reunions are going to be highly emotional with most of the participants (if not all) being elderly people who were around at the time of the country's split.
Now for a bit of a history lesson, kids - the Korean War began in June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following a number of clashes.
Each were supported by other countries from around the globe. The United Nations, with the US as the driving force, came to the aid of South Korea while China came to the aid of North Korea, and the Soviet Union.
Korea was split into two parts with separate governments. Both claimed to be the legitimate government of all of Korea, and neither accepted the border as a permanent fixture.
Eventually the fighting came to a close in July 1953, when an agreement was signed which created the Korean Demilitarized Zone to separate North and South Korea.
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According to ETH Zurich, the two operated under a fragile 'peace' that could be broken at any moment and millions of people suddenly found themselves divided from visiting each other.
The governments even prohibited letters, phone calls and emails to be sent between one another.
In April 2018, the leaders of North and South Korea met at the demilitarized zone and agreed that by the end of the year the Korean War would be formally ended.
Which is where we're at now. That was easy enough, wasn't it?
Now, South Korean officials hope they can discuss plans for a survey to confirm surviving members of war-separated families with the possibility of home town visits and exchanges of letters.
The limited numbers of reunions are vastly insufficient to meet the demands of ageing relatives, who are mostly in their 80s and 90s, South Korean officials say.
According to Seoul's Unification Ministry, more than 75,000 of the 132,000 South Koreans who applied to attend a reunion have died.
The reunions would be the first in about three years.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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