Korean families who were separated during the Korean War will get a chance to reunite with their families on the other side of the border. The South Korean Unification Ministry has notified that the venue will be at the Mount Kumgang resort in North Korea from August 20 to 26 and each side can select only 100 people. This will be the first reunion since 2015.

According to CNN, many of the families have had hardly any contact with other family members ever since the war ended with an armistice in 1953. The selection will be by lottery and figures available with the government of South Korea indicate that as of May, 132,124 citizens had registered for inclusion in the lottery.

More than 75,000 of them are already dead and many of the remaining are in their 80s.

Reunion of Korean families

The Korean War separated hundreds of Korean families. There were a few reunions since then but the reunion program was stopped in 2015 because of increasing tension due to the missile launches and tests by North Korea. The matter was discussed by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the April summit in Panmunjom where a decision was taken to restart the reunion program.

There is some preparatory work involved before finalizing the list of participants. Both sides will have to exchange the names of separated families who hope to meet. Then the status of whether they are still alive will have to be ascertained prior to preparing the final list.

These meetings will be brief and emotional because the family members may never meet again.

Moon Jae-in, President of South Korea, has been in favor of reunification ever since he came to office. Things began to happen once North Korea joined the 2018 Winter Olympics in the South. That was followed by the Singapore summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.

The proposed reunion program will help to strengthen the bonding between the people.

The wait will be over for some Korean families

Time adds that the majority of those who want to attend the reunion are in their 80s and in if any of them have mobility problems, they can take a relative along to help. This temporary reunion of the separated families of the Koreas is an effort to improve diplomatic relations between North Korea and South Korea.

This is not only a humanitarian need but also another step to bring normalcy back to the region.

Leaders of the two countries had tentatively agreed at their first meeting, to August 15 as the date. This was a significant idea as both the Koreas celebrate this day as the day the Korean Peninsula got independence from Japanese colonial rule at the end of World War II in 1945.

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