Footage Information

ABCNEWS VideoSource
South Korea Reunion - Soldier released by North Koreans is reunited with his family
TAPE: EF03/1154 IN_TIME: 01:09:28 DURATION: 2:24 SOURCES: APTN RESTRICTIONS: DATELINE: Seoul - 26 Dec 2003 SKOREA REUNION 261203N SHOTLIST 1. Jun Yong-il, who was captured during the Korean war and held by North Korea for the past 50 years, walking into a meeting room and hugging family members who live in South Korea 2. Pan from photographers to Jun and his family 3. Medium of Jun and his younger sister 4. Wide shot of Jun's younger sister and her husband bowing on their knees 5. Close up of Jun Yong-il 6. UPSOUND (Korean) Jun Yong-il, Former South Korean soldier: "Sister, God let me live this long so that I can see you again." 7. Tilt down from Jun to his older sister 8. Close up of a Jun's younger sister crying 9. Family bowing 10. Close up a Jun's older sister 11. UPSOUND (Korean) Jun Boon-yi, Jun's younger sister: "I am so happy and relaxed to see your face. Now I have no worries." 12.Tilt up from hands to Jun's face 13. Wide shot of Jun's family posing for photo. STORYLINE: A South Korean soldier who was held in North Korea for 50 years returned to his home country for an emotional reunion with his family on Friday. Wearing a black felt hat and striped silk tie, Jun Yong-il walked into the Defense Ministry room where officials arranged a brief reunion with his two sisters, brother and nephew. After 50 years apart, 72-year-old Jun did not immediately recognise his younger sister Boon-yi. Boon-yi, who is now 57, was just a toddler when Jun last saw her before joining South Korea's military during the 1950-53 Korean War. Jun apologised and told his tearful sister: "God helped me remain healthy enough to live this long so that I could see you again." Jun's 65-year-old brother, Soo-il, kneeled down on the floor and made a deep bow to his brother. His older sister, 78-year-old Yong-mok told Jun his mother had talked about him often up until she died. Upon landing in South Korea on Wednesday, the gray-haired man proudly said he had never forgotten he was a South Korean soldier. Jun joined the South Korean army in 1951 and was captured by Chinese troops who fought alongside North Korean forces in the Korean War. In June, he reportedly fled North Korea by swimming across the river-border with China. He was then arrested with an unidentified female companion in eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou in November while trying to board a flight to South Korea with forged passports. Until his arrest in China, the South Korean government had counted him off as killed in action for half a century. After lengthy diplomatic negotiations, China allowed the couple to fly to South Korea on Christmas Eve. South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun hailed it "a precious Christmas present." While China has a treaty with Pyongyang obliging it to send home fleeing North Koreans, it routinely lets them leave if their cases become publicly known. The fighting between the two Koreas stopped in 1953 but the North and South are still technically at war after the conflict ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty. Jun is the latest of more than 30 South Korean prisoners of war who have managed to escape the North since 1994, as the communist country relaxed control over the movements of its hunger-stricken populace. The aging POW's return galvanises South Korea's resolve to pursue the fate of at least 300 others still believed to be held in the North. Efforts to bring the forgotten soldiers home have made little progress, as Pyongyang denies holding any POWs. Details of Jun's life in North Korea were not yet known. He is going through a two-month debriefing by South Korean authorities. Jun, who was a private first class when captured, is expected to be promoted to staff sergeant before being formally discharged from the military. He could get up to 334,000 US dollars in unpaid salary and other compensation. Soo-il said he was proud of his elder brother and wished that the Defense Ministry would release him soon.