Documentary Producer Jieun Baek on Divided Korean American Families
The Korean War in 1950 left more than 10 million people separated from their families in Korea. Over the years, the South Korean government has taken a very active and supportive role in helping to reunite families forcefully torn apart by the devastating war. Since a landmark summit between the two Koreas in 2000, cross-border family reunions have been held on-and-off for more than a dozen times, connecting approximately 21,700 separated family members. But with tensions still high between the two Koreas, the talks for further reunions have been put on hold for the time being.
The tragic story of separated families is not one that is limited to Korea, as many Koreans living in Korean diasporic communities around the world are known to be searching for their immediate family members in North Korea. A U.S. government report released in 2009 estimates that at least 100,000 Korean Americans living in the U.S. have family members in North Korea. My guest this week, Jieun Baek, has produced a documentary film titled “Divided Families,” which chronicles the stories of separated Korean American families.
During our conversation, we’ll talk about how the film has contributed to raising the awareness of the needs and challenges surrounding the divided families issue in the U.S.