War-separated families meet for first time in over 6 decades at North Korea's Mt. Kumgang

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Video Discription: Going back to the first day of the reunions that took place on Monday... the mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters long-separated from the war... were finally able to kiss, hug and tell each other stories of how they lived all those years without each other.
Our Park Ji-won takes us back to that first day.
Eighty nine participants from South Korea crossed the inter-Korean border to the North to meet with their loved ones on Monday, each of them accompanied by one or two people to look after them.
However, only 7 people out of nearly 90 participants were there to meet their immediate families, including sons and daughters as well as siblings.
One of them is 89-year old Yoo Gwan-sik.
He met his 67-year-old daughter, whom he's never seen before.
Yoo said... he didn't even know his wife was pregnant when he decided to escape North Korea temporarily,... or so he thought.

"Father, this is a photo of mother. Mother. Mother."

Another story is especially heart-wrenching.

"Are you Sang-chul? You are Sang-chul You are You are Sang-chul "

92-year old Lee Geum-seom met her 71-year old son.
She burst into tears seeing her son, who grew up in North Korea.
On the eve of this long awaited moment, at a press interview, Lee said she'd like to ask how he was raised and by whom.
Then there's 99-year old Han Shin-ja who met the two daughters she left behind in North Korea.
She thought she'd be reunited with them in two to three months during the war.
With tears in her eyes, Han wouldn't let go of their hands through the entire meeting.
Kim Gwang-ho, who's 80 years old, met his younger brother, who is 78-years-old.
Kim had seven siblings in the North when he headed down to South Korea in 1950.
He said he thought he could reunite with them in just a week, but that week turned into 68 years.
Another South Korean who met her siblings is 82-year old Bae Soon-he.
She met her sisters, for the first time in decades, holding on every precious second they were together.
Some of these relatives were separated because a member of their family was taken prisoner by the North during the war or was abducted by the regime.
That's true in six cases.
Ahead of Monday's long awaited reunion, Seoul asked Pyongyang about 50 people in particular, as they were either POWs or had been otherwise abducted.
The North confirmed the whereabouts of 21 of them -- 13 of them dead, eight alive.
Two of those still living were unable to attend the reunion because of their advanced age.
So, the six who were able to move have joined these reunions.
Between 2000 and 2015, South Korea inquired the North about 350 POWs and abductees -- 54 of whom eventually got to meet their families.
Park Ji-won, Arirang News.


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