8 heart-wrenching moments from Korean family reunions


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Many of the participants break down and sob as they cling to each other

MANILA, Philippines – A group of North and South Korean families held a final farewell Saturday, February 22, after being briefly reunited for the first time since the 1950-53 Korean War.

Knowing they will almost certainly never be together again, the families were allowed to meet one last time for an hour before parting ways on the third and last day of their emotionally-charged reunions. Many of the participants broke down and sobbed as they clung to each other. (READ: South Koreans head for bittersweet family reunion in North)

Here are some photos from the joyful reunions tempered by the pain of the inevitable – and this time permanent – separation at the end.

Kim Se-Rin is reflected in a mirror as he sits on his bed looking at photos of his South Korean family, prepared ahead of a meeting with relatives in the North. Among tens of thousands of wait-listed applicants, the 85-year-old is one of just 82 South Koreans who participated in the meeting beginning February 20. Photo by Ed Jones/AFP

 Lee Yong-Sil (R) of South Korea embraces her sister Lee Jong-Sil (L) of North Korea. AFP Photo/Yonhap

Kim Young-Bok (R) of South Korea bids farewell to his sister Kim Myung-Ja (L). AFP Photo/Yonhap

Park Yang-Kon (R) of South Korea bids farewell to his brother Park Yang-Soo (L) of North Korea. AFP Photo/Yonhap

Lee Kum-Duk (R) of South Korea bids farewell to her younger sisters from North Korea. AFP Photo/Yonhap

Lim Tae-Wook of North Korea sobs as she leaves her South Korean older brother. Photo by Lee Ji-Eun/EPA/South Korea Out

A South Korean woman weeps after bidding farewell to her North Korean relatives, as she sits aboard a bus departing the North Korean resort area of Mount Kumgang. AFP Photo/Yonhap

Park Woon-Hwa (R) of North Korea waves goodbye to his South Korean relatives. Photo by Lee Ji-Eun/EPA/South Korea Out

 with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com

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