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美国国家公共电台 NPR South Koreans Prepare For Rare Family Reunions With Long-Lost Relatives In The North

时间:2018-08-29 02:44来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]



Time now for this weekend's Long Listen - imagine living for nearly 70 years knowing your mom, dad, maybe brothers and sisters live just a few hours away across the most heavily fortified1 border in the world. Tensions are easing between North and South Korea. And the two sides are reviving cross-border reunions that have been on again, off again since 1985. NPR's Michael Sullivan brings us this look from Seoul at the latest reunifications. And I'll note it contains a brief but gruesome wartime memory.

MICHAEL SULLIVAN, BYLINE2: The parking lot at South Korea's war museum is usually pretty empty but not this past Wednesday, National Liberation Day - a state holiday - when thousands flocked to the museum to learn about a brutal3 war that left nearly 3 million dead, wounded or missing in just three years.

SHING CHANG-MIN: (Speaking Korean).

SULLIVAN: Twenty-six-year-old Shing Chang-min came here with his girlfriend to learn about the history of the war. He says he doesn't know much about it - just a little from textbooks at school. What about your parents or grandparents? - I ask.

SHING: (Speaking Korean).

SULLIVAN: "I only see my grandparents briefly4 during holidays. And then we only discuss family issues," he says. "To be honest, I just realized I've never thought to ask them."

Eighty-two-year-old Ahn Seung-choon isn't family. But she could tell them plenty. She's one of the lucky ones who got the call to meet her brother in the North on Monday. Her memories of the war are vivid and awful and start with her mother screaming at her one early morning in August 1950 that her 17-year-old brother had just been taken by North Korean soldiers.

AHN SEUNG-CHOON: (Through interpreter) There were babies sleeping in the house, so she could not follow them for long and had to come back home. After that day, we didn't hear anything about my brother.

SULLIVAN: It got worse. The fighting that first winter was fierce - the family forced to flee to a relative's village, only to be forced out again. So they decided5 to go back home, hoping the fighting had ended there.

AHN: (Through interpreter) On the way back to our house, there was a mountain pass called Paektu (ph) in Pyongyang. And that's where the bombing started.

SULLIVAN: And kept going, she says, until, grazed by a bullet, she passed out.

AHN: (Through interpreter) In the evening, I woke up. All I smelled was shells and blood. I went around looking for my mom. But bodies were everywhere. And a mixture of snow, ice and human blood was flowing into a gutter6. Then I saw a baby crying on the back of a body that was missing a head. I went closer and saw it was my baby sister on my mom's body.

SULLIVAN: She and her 11-year-old sister strapped7 their younger siblings8 to their backs and trekked9 for days before making it back to their village. The babies didn't survive. Ahn and her sister did - unmarried, had six kids but always wondered what happened to her brother. Thirty years ago, she put her name on the list of people looking for their families then forgot about it until she got a phone call earlier this month saying she'd been chosen to meet her missing brother, only to get another call two days later saying he'd already died but had left the family.

AHN: (Through interpreter) It hurts to know that my brother has died. It makes me sad. I will never be able to see him now. But he left a son. And his wife is still alive.

SULLIVAN: And it's them she'll meet on Monday.

AHN: (Through interpreter) I should see my nephew before I die. He is my father's descendant. And he'll carry on my father's lineage. So I'm thankful for that.

YOON HEUNG-GYU: (Through interpreter) My name is Yoon Heung-gyu. I am 92 years old, and I'm a calligraphy10 teacher.

SULLIVAN: Yoon left his home in the North just before the war started. He was angry at the communists for seizing his family's home and moving them into a small hut. I hated them, he says.

YOON: (Through interpreter) I left the North with nothing. If you got caught with anything on you, you're doomed11. You couldn't have anything that could be evidence, not even a picture.

SULLIVAN: His mother didn't want him to go. But they both believed the country would soon be reunited.

YOON: (Through interpreter) If I had known that the country would remain separated for this long, I would not have crossed the border.

SULLIVAN: He made his way south, made a life, served in the South Korean army and got married, all the time wondering what had become of his mother and his two younger siblings. Like Ahn Seung-choon, he registered for the reunion program decades ago, then pretty much gave up until he got the phone call.

YOON: (Through interpreter) I wasn't expecting it to happen. There are still more than 50,000 people waiting to meet their families. And how could I be selected as one of those going this time? It was like asking for the moon.

SULLIVAN: He hopes his sister will bring pictures of the family he hasn't seen for 70 years. He hopes he can keep it together, too, when they meet.

YOON: (Through interpreter) I would love to see if I cry or not. I would only find out when the moment comes.

KIM GWANG-HO: (Speaking Korean).

SULLIVAN: Kim Gwang-ho, 82, left his home in the North with four brothers in December 1950 in what was known as the January 4 retreat. They left behind his mother and a younger brother. He didn't say goodbye.

KIM: (Through interpreter) Of course, I regret it now. But everyone around us said there was no need to move the entire family since we would return shortly.

SULLIVAN: Kim settled in the South, became a doctor but never stopped wondering about his mother and the brother he left behind. He, too, applied12 years ago for the reunion program. And he, too, had pretty much forgotten about it until he got the call earlier this month.

KIM: (Through interpreter) I was surprised and happy. But especially surprising was that my 78-year-old brother is still alive. How could he reach the age of 78 in North Korea? The brothers I came to the South with all died before they turned 60. So I thought it was a miracle that he's still alive.

SULLIVAN: He says they have too much to talk about and too little time in the two days allowed but hopes there will be more opportunities in the future not just for him but for all those who've applied who aren't getting any younger.

KIM: (Through interpreter) One of the South Koreans going is over 100 years old - over 50 percent them in their 80s or older. If reunions don't happen faster, they will never be able to meet their families.

SULLIVAN: Kim hopes the thaw13 in relations between the two Koreas will hasten that process but says he's seen thaws14 followed by chills before. He says he has no intention of talking politics with his brother, even if it were allowed. There's too much to catch up on, he says. But I hope he brings pictures. Michael Sullivan, NPR News, Seoul.


1 fortified fortified     
adj. 加强的
  • He fortified himself against the cold with a hot drink. 他喝了一杯热饮御寒。
  • The enemy drew back into a few fortified points. 敌人收缩到几个据点里。
2 byline sSXyQ     
  • His byline was absent as well.他的署名也不见了。
  • We wish to thank the author of this article which carries no byline.我们要感谢这篇文章的那位没有署名的作者。
3 brutal bSFyb     
  • She has to face the brutal reality.她不得不去面对冷酷的现实。
  • They're brutal people behind their civilised veneer.他们表面上温文有礼,骨子里却是野蛮残忍。
4 briefly 9Styo     
  • I want to touch briefly on another aspect of the problem.我想简单地谈一下这个问题的另一方面。
  • He was kidnapped and briefly detained by a terrorist group.他被一个恐怖组织绑架并短暂拘禁。
5 decided lvqzZd     
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
6 gutter lexxk     
  • There's a cigarette packet thrown into the gutter.阴沟里有个香烟盒。
  • He picked her out of the gutter and made her a great lady.他使她脱离贫苦生活,并成为贵妇。
7 strapped ec484d13545e19c0939d46e2d1eb24bc     
  • Make sure that the child is strapped tightly into the buggy. 一定要把孩子牢牢地拴在婴儿车上。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The soldiers' great coats were strapped on their packs. 战士们的厚大衣扎捆在背包上。 来自《简明英汉词典》
8 siblings 709961e45d6808c7c9131573b3a8874b     
n.兄弟,姐妹( sibling的名词复数 )
  • A triplet sleeps amongst its two siblings. 一个三胞胎睡在其两个同胞之间。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • She has no way of tracking the donor or her half-siblings down. 她没办法找到那个捐精者或她的兄弟姐妹。 来自时文部分
9 trekked 519991528cf92a03563eb482b85eec9e     
v.艰苦跋涉,徒步旅行( trek的过去式和过去分词 );(尤指在山中)远足,徒步旅行,游山玩水
  • They trekked for three days along the banks of the Zambezi. 他们沿着赞比西河河岸跋涉了三天。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Six-man teams trekked through the woods, respectively for 72 to 96 hours. 6人一组的小分队,经过长途跋涉,穿过了森林,分别用72小时到96小时不等。 来自互联网
10 calligraphy BsRzP     
  • At the calligraphy competition,people asked him to write a few characters.书法比赛会上,人们请他留字。
  • His calligraphy is vigorous and forceful.他的书法苍劲有力。
11 doomed EuuzC1     
  • The court doomed the accused to a long term of imprisonment. 法庭判处被告长期监禁。
  • A country ruled by an iron hand is doomed to suffer. 被铁腕人物统治的国家定会遭受不幸的。
12 applied Tz2zXA     
  • She plans to take a course in applied linguistics.她打算学习应用语言学课程。
  • This cream is best applied to the face at night.这种乳霜最好晚上擦脸用。
13 thaw fUYz5     
  • The snow is beginning to thaw.雪已开始融化。
  • The spring thaw caused heavy flooding.春天解冻引起了洪水泛滥。
14 thaws 4f4632289b8d9affd88e5c264fdbc46c     
n.(足以解冻的)暖和天气( thaw的名词复数 );(敌对国家之间)关系缓和v.(气候)解冻( thaw的第三人称单数 );(态度、感情等)缓和;(冰、雪及冷冻食物)溶化;软化
  • The sun at noon thaws the ice on the road. 中午的阳光很快把路上的冰融化了。 来自辞典例句
  • It thaws in March here. 在此地化雪的季节是三月。 来自辞典例句
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