[imText1]Although it was their first meeting in 57 years through the screens in Seoul and Pyongyang, the families did not need much time to affirm their relations.
On the 27th of March the Red Cross headquarters in Seoul held the fifth video reunion event for the separated families of North and South Koreas. Among them were Jung Sam Ok (65) and Jung Ki Ho (57), who recognized Jung San Ok (75), who was in Pyongyang, the moment the screen was turned on.
After recognizing each other, both sides were without words, silently shedding tears. Sam Ok was in the reunion room in the Red Cross headquarters in Seoul, with her younger brother Ki Ho (57), her sister-in-law Kim Soon Ja (65), and her nephew Min Soo Ja (33). From the North, Jung Sun Ok, Sam Ok’s elder sister, and her sons, Jung Tae Young (48) and Jung Sun Young (42), came on the screen.
Sam Ok said in tearful voice, “big sister!” From other side of the screen, North Korean reporters said “say it louder, louder.” Sam Ok asked, “How are you? Can you recognize me?”
Sun Ok then nodded, wiping her eyes with quivering hands. “It has been so long, and everything is blurry. I can hardly recognize you.”
After seeing her sister, Sam Ok said, “You don’t look so well—it makes me sad.”
Tae Young then took over, saying, “Aunt, I’m your nephew Tae Young. Long time no see… as you can see, my mother is sick. Would it be okay if I talked to you?”
He then explained the situation. “Mother used to be well, but when the reunion that was supposed to be at August 15 of last year got delayed, she suddenly became weak and frail… I believe she became mentally traumatized from it.”
He added, “she was getting better, but she became so excited when she heard the news of meeting you, that’s why she can’t speak very much… she is usually fine, so don’t worry about her too much.”
These family members from the South then shared the family information with those from the North—the day of their parents’ death, names, jobs, addresses, and others. Then they placed the family photo close to the screen, which they looked over with much interest.
There were many members among these sisters’ family that were in the field of arts.
Sun Ok is renowned as a traditional Korean clothing designer, her elder son is a technician in the movie industry, and Tae Young is a movie director who studied abroad at Czech Republic. Tae Young’s cousin in the South Korea, Eun Ho, is working as a painter, and Min Soo Ja, Tae Young’s younger cousin, is currently an actor in South Korea.
“All of my wishes are fulfilled,” Sun Ok said quietly, who, throughout the reunion, was shedding tears as she peered through the screen.