News / Asia

Koreas Wrap up Emotional Family Reunions

A North Korean man escorts his relatives as they reunite with their South Korean family members during the Separated Family Reunion Meeting at Diamond Mountain resort in North Korea, Feb. 21, 2014.
A North Korean man escorts his relatives as they reunite with their South Korean family members during the Separated Family Reunion Meeting at Diamond Mountain resort in North Korea, Feb. 21, 2014.
VOA News
North and South Korean relatives who were reunited this week for the first time in decades are saying goodbye Tuesday, as several days of emotional family reunions wrap up.

Many of the families taking part in the reunions at the North's scenic Mount Kumgang resort likely will never see their long-lost family members again, since many are in their 70s and 80s.

A total of 357 South Koreans were reunited with 88 elderly relatives from the North. Last week, a group of 82 South Koreans and 180 North Koreans were reaqainted.

Before now, the reunions had not been held since 2010. There are none scheduled in the future, leaving tens of thousands to wonder if they will see their families before they die.

The two Koreas remain in a technical state of war following their 1950s conflict. Neither government allows their citizens to visit or correspond with those on the other side of the border.

The family reunions were held despite Pyongyang's concern over large-scale, annual, joint military drills, which Washington and Seoul began Monday.

The North sees the military exercises, known as Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, as an unacceptable provocation. But it eventually backed down on its threat to use them as a pretext to cancel the reunions.

Key Resolve lasts just over a week and is largely computer-simulated, while the eight-week Foal Eagle drill involves air, ground and naval field training.

Both sides are on heightened alert during such drills. Following a South Korean military exercise in 2010, North Korea shelled a South Korean island, killing four people.

On Tuesday, Seoul said a North Korean patrol boat briefly violated the Northern Limit Line, the de facto maritime boundary that separates the two countries' territories in the Yellow Sea.

South Korea's Defense Ministry said the boat crossed the line three times, but retreated following an "immediate and firm verbal warning." It added it is "keeping a close eye on possible provocation by the intentional violation of the sea border."

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs