When the dust finally settled from the Korean War in 1953, many families were left separated.
Some fled north with promises of returning home after the war; others did the opposite. Some left the country altogether. But the supposedly-temporary border that cut through the peninsula quickly became permanent after the conflict, and the incredible tension that still persists between the two nations has made it difficult for these people to ever see their loved ones face-to-face, or even have any contact at all.
What many people don’t know, however, is that the governments of North and South Korea occasionally arrange for some families to reunite.
These reunions have been held sporadically since 1988, hinging largely on whether or not diplomatic relations were good at the time. Tens of thousands sign up almost every time the reunions are offered, but only a few are ever chosen. Today’s event is the first one held since February 2014.
If you ever needed a reminder of how powerful family really is, check out the heartwarming moments in the gallery below:
Tear-jerking photos of Korean families, reunited for the first time in decades
Korean family reunionIt's like no time passed at all with these two. The Canadian Press
Korean family reunionNorth Korean dad jokes around with his South Korean son. The Canadian Press
Korean family reunionThis married couple was seperated in the war... The Canadian Press
Korean family reunionBut the love never went anywhere. The Canadian Press
Korean family reunionSouth Korean Lee Jeong-suk, 68, kisses her North Korean father.The Canadian Press
Korean family reunionBrother and sister share some laughs...and a hug.The Canadian Press
Korean family reunionSouth Korean Kim Bok-Rak gets a little help from his older sister from north of the border.The Canadian Press
Korean family reunionHe seems pretty grateful. The Canadian Press
Korean family reunionThis married couple shared a toast and some loving stares. The Canadian Press
Korean family reunionThis father and son pair was overwhelmed with emotion. The Canadian Press