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65 pct of S. Koreans seeking reunion with families in N. Korea are aged 80 or older: data

North Korea 16:35 January 28, 2022

SEOUL, Jan. 28 (Yonhap) -- More than six out of 10 South Koreans seeking reunions with family members split by the 1950-53 Korean War are aged 80 or older, government data showed Friday.

The data demonstrates the urgency of offering them a chance to meet their families on the other side of the Demilitarized Zone.

Among 46,215 South Korean survivors who have registered to be reunited with their family members in the North, 30,148, or 65.2 percent, were in their 80s or older as of December last year, according to the Ministry of Unification

A total of 133,619 South Koreans have signed up as separated family members since 1988. Of them, 87,404 have died, including 296 in December.

Since the first-ever inter-Korean summit in 2000, the two Koreas have held 21 rounds of face-to-face family reunion events, with the most recent one taking place in August 2018.

In this file photo taken on Aug. 24, 2018, Cho Sang-yong (2nd from R), 80, of South Korea, meets his elder brother Cho Deok-yong, 88, of North Korea at a hotel at North Korea's Kumgang Mountain resort on the east coast as part of inter-Korean family reunions. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

yunhwanchae@yna.co.kr
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