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[Photo News] A bitter farewell

The second round of family reunions, involving some 326 people, ended Sunday after a short three-day gathering at the North’s Mount Kumgang.

On Sunday around 10 a.m., families separated by war poured into the Oekumgang Hotel’s banquet hall on the second floor to say goodbye.

Tears spread throughout the room as participants hugged and held their relatives one last time.

At the end of Sunday’s reunion, North Korean Ri Seung-yeol, 53, reportedly told his cousin Lee Young-ho, 50, to “look at the watch and persevere until reunification.” Ri took off the watch he was wearing and gave it to Lee with high hopes of a united Korea.

Families also wrote handwritten letters, took group Polaroid pictures, and gave each other hand-stitched embroidery. 

The two Koreas’ Red Cross chiefs announced Saturday that the two sides had agreed to hold “one round of family reunions, possibly in late October, this year.”

Photos by Yonhap
Written by Catherine Chung