Malta Independent

At emotional Korean reunions, genuine talk often impossible

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The reunions taking place this week between Korean families separated by the 1950-53 war produce heart-wrenching images of elderly relatives who are likely seeing each other for the last time before they die. But they’re also highly political and tightly controlled events where participan­ts often find it difficult to have genuine conversati­ons. Much of the awkwardnes­s centers on the defining fact of the Korean Peninsula: For decades it has been divided between the authoritar­ian North and the capitalist South. Citizens from both nations, especially the elderly who remember the bitterness and bloodshed of the war, often wear their nationalis­m on their sleeves, and some South Koreans have complained that their relatives take every chance to score propaganda points for their authoritar­ian nation.

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