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Family Ties Bind North, South Koreans 50 Years After WarAired July 17, 2000 - 1:08 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Over the weekend, North and South Korea exchanged the names of 200 citizens who hope to be reunited with long-lost relatives on the other side. From those lists, each country will choose 100 people whose fondest dreams will come true August 15.
CNN's Sohn Jie-Ae reports on family ties that continue to bind after half a century.
SOHN JIE-AE, CNN SEOUL BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): Fifty years ago, after the start of the Korean War, Kim Su-ok put her 6-year-old daughter and her mother on a truck bound for Pyongyang. Just a couple of months later, the North Korean offensive forced Kim to join the long line of refugees headed for the South. She never saw her daughter again.
KIM SU-OK, FAMILY REUNION APPLICANT (through translator): I spent the next 10 years in tears. I wanted so much to see her go to school.
JIE-AE (on camera): Kim has applied to be one of the 100 the Red Cross takes to the North to meet with relatives. But she knows the odds are against her, so Kim is also using the World Wide Web to find information about her lost daughter.
(voice-over): Kim posted the only photographs she has of her little girl on a site run by a government-funded foundation. Foundation officials say more than 1,000 divided family members have applied to get on the site. They post information about themselves and pictures of family members they want to find: husbands, parents, brothers and nephews.
Fifty-three-year-old Park Jang-soon (ph) hopes the site will help her get information about her brother, who she says was taken by North Korean soldiers during the war. The U.S. company Computer Associates is a partner in the site, allowing the usage of the age-progression technology, which is used to help locate lost children at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Virginia.
HA MAN-JEONG, COMPUTER ASSOCIATES (through translator): We had very good results with this program in the U.S. But in Korea, the issue of divided families is very important, and so we decided to expand our program here to include not only missing children, but also divided families.
JIE-AE: If Kim was to go to the North, she will be able to take with her computerized pictures of her daughter as she would look today at the age of 56.
SU-OK (through translator): I just want to give her everything I have so that I can make up for the lost years.
JIE-AE: Something divided family members hope an Internet site might help them accomplish.
Sohn Jie-Ae, CNN, Seoul.
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