Imagine you cannot ever see your families for over 60 years from now. How would that feel? As I hear the news about Syrian refugees trying to move to different countries. I thought of the issue through my experience in South Korea.
Thousands of Korean families have been separated since the Korean War ended in 1953. Due to political reasons, sometimes by forces, or accidently, other times voluntarily some families had to move to or stay in the North, other families did that in the South to escape from battles during the war. Meanwhile, people had to leave or lose their children, parents, husbands and wives. The war left them not only harsh and poor life but also huge agony of losing their families not knowing even whether they were alive. The separation lasted over 60 years with little or no contact.
During the time, only those people who stayed in the same side of Korea could find their lost families. But the others separated have been longing for unification for over 60 years, which has yet to occur.
Approximately 66,000 in South Korean on the waiting list are longing to see their families. There have been efforts made by both Koreas for the reunion of these people under the agreement in the history but only fewer than 20 times were made with a limited number of people in 60 years only when there was political stability between North and South Korea. So far only 3934 people could see their families again after the war ended. It is so sad that many of these people are in their 80s or 90s so family reunion is in many of these people’s last wish in their life.
October 20 to 26 in 2016 there will be a reunion in two years. Only selected 100 people from each side will be able to meet their families. This is such emotional news to every Korean. Unification in Korea cannot wait any longer. Division must not happen again to anyone anymore.