Lottery to reunite North and South Korean families

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Elderly South Koreans are meeting North Korea relatives they have not seen since the 1950-1953 Korean War.

The group of 89 South Koreans, chosen by a lottery process, and 83 North Koreans are meeting at a tourist resort on the northern side of the border. In total, 57,000 people had applied according to CNN.

This is the first cross border family reunion since 2015 and was agreed when South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met earlier this year. There have been 22 reunions since 2000, although some of these were purely by video conference. In the last 18 years about 23,676 separated Koreans, from both North and South, have met or interacted through videolink set up by The Red Cross.

The South Koreans will be in North Korea for three days, but will only be able to see their relatives for a few hours each day.

Many South Koreans are said to be bringing medicine and food for their relatives. Two in five North Koreans are undernourished and more than 70 percent of the population rely on food aid according to a 2017 UN report.

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