Separated by War, Mother Sees Son for First Time in 68 Years

They were among a select few chosen for family reunions in North Korea
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2018 6:03 AM CDT
South Korean Lee Keum-seom, 92, left, hugs her North Korean son Ri Sang Chol, 71, during the Separated Family Reunion Meeting at the Diamond Mountain resort in North Korea, Monday, Aug. 20, 2018.   (Korea Pool Photo via AP)
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(Newser) – They became separated in the chaos of fleeing the war 68 years ago and ended up on opposite sides of the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea, reports the BBC. But on Monday, 92-year-old Lee Keum-seom of South Korea traveled across the border and got to meet and hug her son Sang Chol, now 71 himself. Both dissolved into sobs, reports CNN. "This is a photo of my father, mom," Sang Chol said, showing her a picture of his late father—and her former husband.

The pair were among 89 families chosen to take part in Monday's reunion at a holiday resort in the North, a result of the summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un earlier this year. Most of those taking part in the reunions are older than 80, making it likely that this week's heavily supervised get-togethers will be their only reunions. Family members will get to spend a few hours each day together over three days. (Read more North Korea stories.)

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