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Tears flow freely as divided Koreans meet after 60 years

Published on Feb 20, 2014 5:52 PM

SOKCHO, South Korea (AFP) - Several hundred elderly South and North Korean relatives clung to each other, rocking and weeping, and trading photos and faded memories as they met after 60 years on Thursday at a reunion for families divided by the Korean War.

The emotional gathering at North Korea's Mount Kumgang resort was the result of tortuous, high-level negotiations between Pyongyang and Seoul, which had nearly broken down over the North's objections to overlapping South Korea-US military drills.

Television footage showed snow falling hard as 82 South Koreans - some so frail they had to be stretchered indoors - arrived at the resort in a convoy of buses to meet 180 North Korean relatives they have not seen for decades.

Inside the main hall, where numbered tables had been laid out, there were moving scenes as divided brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, step-siblings and in-laws sought each other out and then collapsed into each others' arms.

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