Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Cruelty Experienced by Korean Separated Families

Recently, Korea had a three-day  meeting of separated families in the North's Diamond Mountain resort. One of the columnists in  the Peace Weekly writes about the meetings with a great deal of feeling. North and South never signed a peace treaty, so we are dealing with a truce and continuance of conflict. 

One of the elderly Koreans  who is just short of his ninetieth year, after 65 years met his daughter who was only 3 years old when he left his family for war. His wife died 35 years ago and the child he left is now a grandmother of 68. She wanted to hear her father sing, an  accomplished singer in his day. The father was only a father in name to the daughter. She held her father's hand while he sang and cried and never stopped. When the time came to separate there was no promise of a future visit only wishes for good health.
After some time, we have resumed the visits of the separated families which begin with tears and end with tears. Meeting family members, not knowing whether they are alive or not, is always a happy moment but shortly ends with the beginning of pain. Joy turns to pain, and we see the cruelty of the situation. Watching the meeting of families on television is filled with great sorrow on the part of the citizens, not difficult to understand the pain of those meeting each other.

Families  have done nothing to merit this separation. Nothing can justify this evil, and cruelty inflicted on so many families. Russia and the United States both looking for hegemony divided the country with the help from both sides: a symbiotic hostile relation that has brought  pain to many. Each side looks only to its own benefits, and forgetting the good of the citizens. We are all accomplices in this evil, he laments; we all sat idly while this was accomplished.

In the last eight years, we have had only four meetings of separated families. We can ask the two governments of the South and North why should this be. The previous 'liberal' government had 16 meetings of separated families. No matter, the reasons given the columnist found this difficult to accept. Those who profess the name conservative should  have a great respect for family and should be working to  decrease the pain that the separated families endure. The age of the separated families continues to increase, and the hope of meeting is left unresolved. 

He hopes the two governments will allow regularly a place where the separated families  can easily meet. He hopes they will think more of the families, instead of their own advantages and disadvantages. He would like the Cardinal of Seoul to use his position as the acting ordinary of Pyongyang, North Korea, to work to overcome the heartburn that so many in both parts of the peninsular have to deal with, and want to see resolved before they die.

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