From the port city of Sokcho are Monday morning, 89 South Koreans went to Kumgangsan, a mountain in the southeast of North Korea. There organize both Korea’s for the first time in three years, reunions of family members since the Korean war (1950-1953) are separated from each other.
Because it is apart of the families already so long ago, most of the participants are older than 80 years. The oldest participant this time even 101 years.
However, there are still many people who are eligible for a short reunion with their family. In South Korea come yet 57.000 people eligible for a reunion, especially 70+.
It is going to be the 20th round of familieherenigingen since 2000. According to the South Korean news agency Yonhap will the family members together for three days six times of meeting, for a total of eleven hours. On South Korean side, participants are selected on the basis of a lottery, in North Korea, they are presumably chosen on the basis of good behavior.
Because most participants are older people, it is the reunification with their family is not without risk. At previous reunions have proved that if the families say goodbye, sometimes for a shock, what in the worst case for health problems.
Participants must, therefore, undergo a medical examination. This is among other things the blood pressure of the participants followed. This time had four families at the last moment to cancel a reunion.
The previous reunion dates in 2015. By the deteriorating relationship between the countries, were the visits are temporarily suspended. The new encounters come after the renewed rapprochement this year between the two Korea’s, culminating with the top at the end of april between the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in.
North and South Korea are officially still in a state of war, but since 1953 there was a cease-fire in force.
South Korea hopes that new negotiations will lead to regular contact between separated families. Seoul wants to include permanent correspondence and home visits. In