Pain of Korea's separated families is felt every day
7 Dec 2016
Families torn apart by decades of enforced separation in the Korean peninsula risk never being reunited with loved ones amid rising tensions in the region, the UN has warned.
Since war between the north and the south in 1953 cut the country in two, nearly 130,000 families have registered for a reunion with their families.
More than half have died without getting their wish, the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) says.
Daniel Johnson has more.
With every passing day, the pain felt by families separated from loved ones since the Korean War more than 60 years ago, remains as acute as ever.
That’s according to UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, in reaction to a report published by his office on their plight.
It warns that the main obstacle to family reunification is the increased political and military tension in the region that has halted dialogue between the countries.
Since the year 2000, there have been only occasional, brief reunions, for 100 families on either side of the border that separates the peninsula.
More than half of the individuals who have requested to see a family member are now over 80 years old, the UN report continues.
It adds that since the year 2008, the number of people who have escaped from the north and arrived in the south has fallen, owing to tougher border controls.