The Atlantic

Korea's Divided Families Are Hoping for a Reunion

The Korean War split them apart. Could the Winter Olympics be an opportunity to bring them back together?
Source: Phil Noble / Reuters

Editor’s Note: Read all of The Atlantic’s Winter Olympics coverage.

In the fall of 2010, in a banquet hall in Kangwon Province in North KoreaSouth Korean lawmaker Woo Won Shik took a seat at table number 74. with his mother to a government-sponsored meeting for families divided by the Korean War. They were there to meet Woo’s older sister, who had been left behind in North Korea in July of 1950, amid the chaos of a mushrooming civil war. In the buildup to the war, which lasted from 1950 to 1953, thousands of North Korean residents fled to the South, leaving behind parents, siblings, or

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