For Separated Koreans, Memories Fading and Time Running Out
Jin Gyeong-sun was in his early 20s when he fled North Korea during the Korean War. He left behind two sisters and a brother.
Nearly 70 years later, Jin still has not spoken to or seen his family since.
"I cannot even express my sadness in words," says Jin, who is now 89 years old and living in Seoul. ""I miss my family as much as ever."
For Jin and other Koreans who left family behind in the early 1950s, time is quickly running out to see their family on the other side of the border.
Relations between North and South Korea have worsened in recent months. Plans for government-approved family reunions are often delayed.
Too late for some
For many, it is already too late. Sixty percent of South Koreans who have registered for family reunions since 1988 had already died as of last month. Those numbers come from South Korea's Unification Ministry.
Among the nearly 54,000 survivors, 23 percent are 90 or older. And 41 percent are in their 80s, the ministry says.
At 74, Lee Sang-won is among the younger North Koreans who fled during the war. He came to South Korea during the United Nations-led Hungnam Evacuation in 1950. He was 5 years old. He has difficulty remembering his family.
"It's just been too long," says Lee.
Reunions of high importance
Since 1985, 21 rounds of family reunions have reconnected a total of 4,355 individuals and 1,757 families. Such events have taken place less often in recent years.
The parents of South Korean President Moon Jae-in also left North Korea during the Hungnam Evacuation. He has discussed the importance of restarting the family reunions.
In a statement last week, Moon said restarting the family reunions is "highest priority" for the two Koreas.
"It's wrong that governments in both the South and the North have not given them even a chance for such a long time," Moon said.
The most recent reunions took place a little over one year ago, at North Korea's Mount Kumgang resort. It included 83 North Koreans and 89 South Koreans. More had been invited to take part. But they chose not to attend after discovering their family members across the border had already died.
A few months later, Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to make the reunions official. They created a permanent meeting place and permitted family members to write letters to each other. They also restarted video reunions.
South Korea modernized 13 video conferencing rooms around the country. Such rooms were last used nearly 20 years ago. It also sent video equipment to North Korea.
But such plans have halted because of the collapse of nuclear talks between the two sides. North Korea has said it would not restart the reunions.
Last week, North Korea said it would accept the recommendation of the U.N. Human Rights Council, which urged the country to work with the South on helping separated families. But so far there appears to be no major progress.
It is a sad time for Jin. He says he has asked 21 times to attend reunion events, but has been rejected each time.
"There is little time for me, and people like me," Jin says. He would love to one day visit Pyongyang, his old hometown.
"Or at least send a letter," he adds.
I'm Susan Shand.
1.the Korean War 朝鲜战争
The Korean War lasted three years.
2.at least 至少
This jury is expected to be sequestered for at least two months.
3.nuclear talks 核谈判
The extension of sanctions comes as six-party nuclear talks continue to stall.
4.took place 举行
Another dust-up took place in the teahouse.
5.Since 1985, 21 rounds of family reunions have reconnected a total of 4,355 individuals and 1,757 families.
a total of 总数为
Out of a total of 2,602 pupils only 922 passed the test
The companies have a total of 1,776 employees.
6.For Jin and other Koreans who left family behind in the early 1950s, time is quickly running out to see their family on the other side of the border.
running out 用完；耗尽
Conditions are getting worse and supplies are running out.
Now Martin has begun to suffer the effects of AIDS, and he says his time is running out.
对于很多人来说，现在为时已晚。截止上月，1988年以来登记离散家属团聚计划的韩国人中已有60%人去世 。这些数据由韩国统一部提供 。
74岁的李相元（Lee Sang-won）也是战争期间逃离的朝鲜年轻人之一。1950年，他在联合国领导的兴南疏散期间来到了韩国 。当时他只有5岁 。他对家人没什么印象 。
最近一次家庭团聚于一年多前在朝鲜金刚山度假胜地举行。其中包括83名朝鲜人和89名韩国人 。当时其实邀请了更多人参加 。但是这批人发现边境对面的家人去世后选择不出席 。
韩国对全国范围内的13个视频会议室进行了现代化改造。这类会议室上一次使用是在大约20年前 。韩国还给朝鲜送去了视频设备 。