South Korean Han Shin-ja, 99, views photos of family members in North Korea during a reunion with her daughter on August 20. Photo: Yonhap

North Korea plays the cruellest game with family reunions

By allowing limited reunions with Koreans divided by the country’s separation in 1945, North Korea exploits human suffering to inflict more punishment

Topic |   North Korea

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South Korean Han Shin-ja, 99, views photos of family members in North Korea during a reunion with her daughter on August 20. Photo: Yonhap
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Donald Kirk

Donald Kirk

Donald Kirk is an author and journalist from Washington, D.C., and travels to South Korea, with stops in London, India, Pakistan, the Middle East, Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines, among other places, writing on the confrontation of forces in the post-September 11 era. He was the Seoul correspondent for the International Herald Tribune from 1997 to 2003. Before gravitating to Northeast Asia, he covered much of the Vietnam War for the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Star. He has also written books on Korea, notably Korea Betrayed: Kim Dae Jung and Sunshine and Korean Dynasty: Hyundai and Chung Ju Yung.