International news outlets have been buzzing with one of the day’s big stories: North Korea will reopen its border with South Korea for tourism and family reunion purposes.

As far as what recent talks have yielded and what that progress means for Westerners here, who can really say? I have a feeling these talks are, like so many before them, full of empty promises and short-term agreements. But even if I never make it to North Korea, I think Kim Jong-il has provided quite a bit of excitement for me this year.

The one thing that disappoints me about this situation is that I’ll never see the results of the latest round of talks. I fly out just two days before the scheduled reunion between divided families in October.

The Koreas are aiming for families to be reunited during Chuseok, the closest thing the countries have to Thanksgiving. Gives “I’m thankful for my family” a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?

 

Around 13,000 war captives crossed this, the Freedom Bridge, in the early 1950s. The bridge still stands in Paju, just south of Panmujom on the 38th parallel, a reminder of Korea's past and the sharp divide that exists today between north and south.

Around 13,000 war captives crossed this, the Freedom Bridge, in the early 1950s. The bridge still stands in Paju, just south of Panmujom on the 38th parallel, a reminder of Korea's past and the sharp divide that exists today between north and south.

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