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Characteristics of S-N Korean delegations

Posted August. 15, 2000 21:25,   


Upon their arrival at Kimpo International Airport on Tuesday, the North Korean visitors appeared to be young and energetic. The South Korean visitors to the North Korean capital, on the other hand, were mostly aged, with their checkered lives imprinted on their faces. What was behind these very different impressions? In the first place, the North Koreans were chosen from among people in their 60s or younger, whereas the South Koreans were selected with priority given to the elderly who have direct descendants in the North.

In detail, 65 percent of the total 100 South Korean visitors are in their 70s, compared to 71 percent of the North Koreans who are in their 60s. Moreover, none of the South Koreans are slated to meet their parents, but the North Koreans are scheduled to see 21 parents here. South Korean Chang Yi-Yun¡¯s 106-year-old mother was first said to be living in the North, but was later found to be dead. Originally, the North Koreans were to meet 21 parents, but Mun Byong-Jin, 68, of the North was informed that her mother had passed away three days after she was confirmed alive.

As for the relationships between the South and North Korean families, the Southern side was to meet 17 wives and sons, 21 daughters, and 61 brothers and sisters. The North Korean visitors will meet 20 parents, 7 wives and sons, and 74 brothers and sisters. In addition, the Northern delegation includes many notables, while the Southern side consists of common people.