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News Link • Korea/North Korea

'I cried for a year': Families split by the Korean War get rare chance to reunite

• By Paula Hancocks, Yoonjung Seo and James Griffith

The last time she saw him, Sang Chol was four years old, and together with her husband and their daughter, they were headed south, fleeing the fighting during the early days of the Korean War.
In the mass of hundreds of thousands of others trying to escape, Lee and her daughter lost sight of her husband and Sang Chol.

They continued south, becoming part of the flood of refugees who crossed what became the Demilitarized Zone. Only later did she discover that her husband and son remained on the other side of the divide, in North Korea.

They are among the tens of thousands of Koreans whose families were separated by the war.

Lee is now one of a small number of people fortunate enough to be chosen for government-run family reunions.

On Monday, the first reunion in three years will take place, at North Korea's Mount Kumgang. The reunion is included in the historic accord that was signed by the leaders of the two Koreas in April. Around 57,000 people were eligible to take part. Of those, 0.16%, just 89 people, will make the journey.

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