This story After 50 years, soldier reunited with his family in South Korea brought tears to my eyes.
Mr. Jun was lost to his unit just days before the 1953 armistice that ended the fighting, and South Korean military records listed him as killed in action. But he was not dead, just taken prisoner.
Somehow, Mr. Jun managed to survive — not only 50 years in a country ravaged by a bankrupt economy, a hard-line Communist regime and terrible famine, but also a remarkable escape from North Korea that came close to disaster at many turns.
When he was captured, Mr. Jun had parents, two sisters and a brother. They all assumed he was dead, and he had no idea what had happened to them.
Mr. Jun was finally reunited with his brother and sisters just after Christmas. Tears of joy and sadness flowed.
“My little sister, come here! I will hug and carry you on my back as I used to,” Mr. Jun cried to 57-year-old Jun Boon-yi, as he saw her for the first time since she was a toddler.
“I am sorry that I was away so long and did not do my duty as a brother.”
The woman, her face now creased and weathered and streaming with tears, buried her face in his chest.
Mr. Jun, the 34th escapee since 1994, then headed to his old hometown, where sister Yong-mok promised “to feed him well.”
“This is a miracle he could come back home alive after all that hardship in North Korea,” she said.
What horror the man must have gone though. The hardship of being separated from this family multiplied by the hell on earth that is North Korea. Every happiness to Mr Jun and this family.I should note that the story was covered earlier (on Dec 24th (which is why I missed it?)) by The Marmot’s (Final) Hole: Welcome Home and Seeing Eye blog : 53 YEARS LATER has a very emotional picture.