Video Duration 25 minutes 00 seconds
From: 101 East

Reuniting Korea’s Families

After 68 years of separation, an elderly South Korean mother has the chance to reunite with her North Korean son.

When the Korean War broke out in 1950, Lee Geum-Sum fled south with her young family.

On the way, she had to stop to feed her baby daughter and became separated from her husband and son. The conflict tore the family apart – they were divided by a border they were forbidden to cross.

For 68 years, Mrs Lee heard nothing from her husband and son. She built a new life with her daughter in South Korea’s capital, Seoul, but never forgot the family she lost.

Then, at 91 years of age, Mrs Lee received a letter from the Red Cross, saying her son was still alive and in North Korea.

“That’s why I’ve lived so long! To see him!” Mrs Lee says.

Now, alongside dozens of other families, she has the chance to travel to North Korea and see the son she lost more than 60 years ago.

In an emotional reunion, Mrs Lee tells her son the story of how they were separated and her desperate attempts to find him.

“I walked and walked, without food or sleep, trying to find you and your father,” she tells him.

What happens when a family meets again after so many years apart?

101 East follows a mother’s journey to reunite with her long-lost son.