S. Korea Calls For Resuming Family Reunions

South Korean President Park Geun-hye wants to resume reunions between her citizens and family members on the other side of the border.
Posted at 3:24 PM, Jan 06, 2014

​It’s been more than 60 years since millions of Koreans were first separated from their loved ones in the aftermath of the Korean War.

Now, South Korean President Park Geun-hye is calling for reunions to resume for those on either side of the border. (Via Arirang News

Koreans separated from their relatives haven't had a chance to see them since the last reunion took place over three years ago. And they have had little-to-no contact, since the two countries ban their citizens from communicating by phone or email. (Via Euronews, NTDTV

But in what seemed like a turning point, the North agreed to hold family reunions with the South this September. (Via BBC

Then with just days to go, Pyongyang called off the reunions — blaming hostility from its neighbor. (Via NPR)

And with the North acting as unpredictable now as ever, observers say prospects of another reunion appear even less likely.

Last month, North Korea stunned the world when announced it had executed its second most powerful official — who also happened to be the uncle of Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un.  (Via The New York Times

So amid the perceived instability, will the North accept the South’s offer? A researcher at Seoul National University told YonhapNews Agency there’s about a 50-50 chance.   

But perhaps there’s some room for optimism. In his annual New Years address, Kim called for improved ties with the South. (Via CBS)

Still, analysts are skeptical of his authenticity, pointing out he made similar overtures in his 2013 New Years speech — which he promptly followed up with a nuclear test and further threats of war.