February 22, 2024

Sanctions and new technology could help divided families

Do divided Koreans need state level negotiations to hold reunions?

One night in July of 1950, a young man who had been pampered his entire life, for no other reason than the sheer dumb luck of having been born into a well-to-do family, made a fateful decision. Despite the fact that this young man had no marketable skills other than looking good in a suit, he decided that he needed to take his wife, who was three years older than him, and their four young children and leave the only home they had ever known.

That young man was my maternal grandfather and that home that he left was located in Wonsan, North Korea. Before fleeing to South Korea, he promised his mother that he would be back soon so that the family would be reunited. It was a promise that my grandfather was fated never to keep.