Reunited Korean families bid final farewellFebruary 23, 2014 00:08
The joy of being reunited for the first time in decades turned to grief for North and South Korean families as a rare cross-border visit ended, with participants unlikely to see their relatives again.
In perhaps the most traumatic moment of the emotionally-charged event on Saturday, 80 elderly South Koreans and their 174 Northern relatives were separated, many at first refusing to let go of their loved ones' hands.
The families, the first of two batches who are being allowed to meet with each other 60 years after they were torn apart by the chaos of the 1950-1953 Korean War, were given an hour to say goodbye in a hotel dining room at a North Korean mountain resort, the Agence-France press news agency reported.
At the start of Saturday's meeting, many were already in tears, while others forced smiles to hide pent-up emotions.