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Woman, 92, Reunited With Her Son In North Korea After 68 Years Apart

Woman, 92, Reunited With Her Son In North Korea After 68 Years Apart

A 92-year-old woman has finally embraced her son after more than six decades apart due to the Korean war.

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The emotional moment a Ri Sang-chol, who is North Korean, and his mother, Lee Geum-seom, who has been in South Korea since the Korean War ended in 1953, were finally reunited has touch people all over the internet.

Ri, now 71, hadn't seen his mother since he was four because when the war ended, Lee and her daughter made it into South Korea, while Ri and his father were stuck in North Korea.

In the video, once she spots her son, Lee makes an emotional dash to hug Ri.

According to the Associated Press, Lee was eager to know all about her son's life and whether he had children - and Ri was able to show his mother a picture of her late husband.

Ri and Lee were reunited, along with 88 other elderly South Koreans, when they could cross the border for a brief reunion with family members in the North.

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Credit: CNN
Credit: CNN

However this particular event was special as it was the first reunion North Korea have allowed in nearly three years.

But there's a sad twist.

Though the reunions last a few days, it's highly unlikely the pair will see each other again, due to the divide between the two countries and the system used to decide the reunion - people who have already participated aren't given another chance to take part.

The reunions first kicked off in 1985 - since then over 20,000 people have taken part in 20 events.

A lottery system is used to decide participants - but in the past, some South Koreans have died or become too ill to travel before the reunions could take part.

Credit: CNN
Credit: CNN

Sadly, during the reunions many family members fail to recognise each other due to the length of time that's passed.

Lee commented on her fears of this in an interview, released by South Korea's Blue House, prior to her meeting with Ri.

She said: "He won't recognise me because he was only four. We would only know each other by our names."

Lee also said she had 'cried every day' since the separation from her family - but the loving mother had her wish come true when she was able to hug her baby once more.

Even though the reunions are scarce, things could be looking up after a successful joint Korean team in the recent Winter Olympics and the historic meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in earlier this year.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

It was this meeting that resulted in the 2018 reunion going ahead.

The emotional coming together of the families seems to have struck a chord with President Moon Jae-in as he took to Twitter to say he would work to resolve the issue of separated families.

Featured Image Credit: CNN

Topics: World News, South Korea, News, Community, politics, CNN, North Korea

Rachael Grealish

Rachael is a NCTJ qualified journalist from West Cumbria, with a passion for news, features and journalism. Outside of work Rachael loves plenty of coffee, running and reading.

 

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