11/25/2005, 00.00
south korea - north korea
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Northern and Southern families 'virtually' united

Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Hundreds of Koreans separated for over half a century were virtually reunited yesterday with a video link between South and North. Seventy-nine South and North Korean families met relatives for two hours via the video link enabled by a fibre-optic cable laid this year across the border.

The reunions, set to continue today, are the second of their kind since the two Koreas held their first "virtual reunions" in August, marking the 60th anniversary of their liberation from Japanese colonial rule. Another such reunion is scheduled for next month.

Hyun Ok-sil and her brother Dong Won, of North Korea, reunited with their father, Hyun Byung-moon, in the link-up between the Koryo Hotel in Pyongyang and a Red Cross centre in Seoul.

"Father, father," the two North Koreans said, holding back tears. Their 96-year-old South Korean father stared for several minutes at his children, whom he left behind in the communist North during the war, before asking them whether they knew their exact birthdays.

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