TITLE=KOREAS REUNION (L)
INTRO: A plane carrying 100 North Koreans arrived in
Seoul Tuesday for a four-day reunion of long-lost
relatives separated by the Korean War. As V-O-A's Amy
Bickers reports from Seoul, 100 South Koreans are also
being reunited with relatives in North Korea.
TEXT: Hundreds of separated parents and children,
husbands and wives and brothers and sisters are
embracing for the first time in half a century.
The North Korean government chose 100 citizens to go
to Seoul to meet with their kin, while 100 South
Koreans were picked by computer lottery to go North.
They are only a tiny fraction of the millions of
people who were separated by the Korean War, in the
early 1950's. Because there is no civilian mail or
telephone service between the two nations, reunion
participants have little idea of how their loved ones
have fared over the years.
The reunion is the result of the accord reached by
South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and North Korea's
Kim Jong Il during their June summit. The North Korean
leader said Saturday there will be more reunions in
September and October.
The Seoul government has briefed South Koreans
traveling north, telling them to avoid discussing
politics when in Pyongyang. South Koreans meeting
their Northern relatives in Seoul have been warned not
to stare at badges typically worn by North Koreans,
depicting leader Kim Jong Il and comparing the two
countries' political systems. (SIGNED)
14-Aug-2000 23:33 PM LOC (15-Aug-2000 0333 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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