The last time Lee Hye-gyong saw her mom was when she was 16, almost six decades ago. Now 75, she was given the chance to reunite with her family after the 1950-53 Korean war. Her mom is 100.
Last month, 200 families from North and South Korea, 100 from each side, were randomly selected for a rare opportunity to reunite with long-lost loved ones. But the briefness of it all made the meetings exceptionally emotional.
“We had five reunion sessions in total, spending two hours with my sister each time, in addition to a one-hour farewell meeting,” younger sister, 62-year-old Lee Kyong-hee, said in her reunification story. “The moment Hye-gyong entered the reunion hall, I recognized her immediately even though she looks very different from what I remember about her appearance.”
While some critics say these reunification programs are cruel because the meetings are so short and communication after the reunion is still banned, others insist that it’s a step towards reconciliation between the two countries.
Click here to watch a video of the reunions. Be warned, you need tissues for this.