Saturday, September 26, 2009


A group of elderly South Koreans is making a rare journey across the heavily fortified border to visit long-lost relatives in the communist North.
Two hundred families were chosen to take part in the reunions after more than half a century of separation since the Korean civil war.
The two Koreas began reunions in 2000, but the programme was suspended two years ago because of political tension.
The resumption is being seen as a sign of a possible thaw in relations.
There has been no phone or even postal contact between North and South since the end of the Korean war in 1953.
Over the next six days the families - half from the North and half from the South - will meet at a tourist resort on North Korea's east coast. The event has been organised by the Unification Ministry which handles inter-Korean affairs.

The BBC's John Sudworth, in Seoul, say that with many of them in their 80s and 90s, it is likely to be their only chance to see their families.
Widow Lee Sun-ok, 80, travelled to North Korea on Saturday to meet two younger sisters and one younger brother for the first time in 60 years.
"I never thought I could see them again," she told the Associated Press. "I can die after visiting the North with no regrets."
Reunions were last held in October 2007.
North Korea agreed last month to resume them as part of a slight easing of tensions with South Korea and the US over its nuclear and missile programmes.



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