Since the Korean War ended back in 1953, North and South Korea have been at odds. With a border patrolled by armed guards and covered in landmines, it’s not the sort of place to live if you’re after a quiet family life. Sadly though, a 100 families have been displaced and separated by war, unable to see each other for nearly six decades.
Thankfully despite recent tensions, an agreement has been made between Red Cross representatives from each side in the border village of Panmunjom, will permit the families who have been separated to meet at the Mount Kumgang resort in North Korea.
Recent talks have smoothed relations between the rival nations, with Seoul managing to win the resumption of reunions that have, in the past, been used as a bargaining chip by Pyongyang in the past. First held in 2000, there have been 19 reunions so far, with nearly 19,000 people allowed to spend time with family who live on opposite side of the border. In recent years, these reunions have been cancelled due to tougher stances by the South Korean government. This is why news they are to resume has pleased many political analysts watching the region.
However there is guarantee that the reunions will go ahead. North Korea are due to launch of a rocket to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party on October 10, which comes 10 days before the start of the planned reunions. The launch of this rocket is thought to be a potential spanner in the works for South Korea.
It has been revealed that more than 66,000 South Koreans are on the government’s list of candidates for the reunion, with priority of course given to the very elderly. We’re hoping that both sides can keep the peace for a further month, if only so some of these poor people can see relatives before it’s too late.