27 Sep 2009

Elderly Koreans reunited after border crossing

5:21 pm on 27 September 2009

A group of elderly South Koreans has made a rare journey across the border to visit long lost relatives in the Communist North.

The BBC reports 200 families were chosen to take part in the reunions after being separated since the Korean civil war.

The two Koreas began reunions in 2000, but the programme was suspended two years ago because of political tension.

The resumption is being seen as a sign of a possible thaw in relations.

There has been no phone or even postal contact between North and South since the end of the Korean war in 1953.

On Saturday, a group of 97 South Koreans drove across the border to meet their relatives at the Mount Kumgang resort in North Korea.

The six-day reunion event is being organised by the Unification Ministry which handles inter-Korean affairs.

Reunions were last held in October 2007. North Korea agreed last month to resume them as part of a slight easing of tensions with South Korea and the US over its nuclear and missile programmes.