Relatives from families divided for decades between North and South Korea were allowed to meet one another again briefly in a rare example of cooperation between the two countries. Millions of families were separated by the Korean War, which ended in an armistice in 1953.

For many of those taking part, this was probably the last time they'll see each other. The brief, painfully emotional reunions — the first since late 2010 — are unlikely to be repeated anytime soon. Neither country has ever allowed a second chance for people to meet their relatives across the border. Both sides bar ordinary citizens from visiting each other and even exchanging phone calls, letters and emails.

North Korea reportedly chooses only citizens seen as loyal for the reunions, while South Korea uses a computerised lottery system to pick participants.

South Korean Nam Gung Bong-Ja (L) bids farewell to her North Korean father Nam Gung-Ryeol, 86, after their family reunion
South Korean Nam Gung Bong-Ja (L) bids farewell to her North Korean father Nam Gung-Ryeol, 86, after their family reunionGetty
South Korean Park Se-Lim (L) meets his North Korean older brother Park Chang-Soon (R), 81
South Korean Park Se-Lim (L) meets his North Korean older brother Park Chang-Soon (R), 81Getty
South Korean Kim Sung-Yoon (R), 96, meets with her North Korean sister
South Korean Kim Sung-Yoon (R), 96, meets with her North Korean sisterGetty
South Korean Yoon Tae-Sook (L) meets her North Korean sister Yoon Tae-Im
South Korean Yoon Tae-Sook (L) meets her North Korean sister Yoon Tae-ImGetty
South Koreans head home on a bus after being reunited with their North Korean relatives
South Koreans head home on a bus after being reunited with their North Korean relativesGetty
South Korean Park Yang-Gon (L) meets with his North Korean brother Park Yang-Soo
South Korean Park Yang-Gon (L) meets with his North Korean brother Park Yang-SooGetty
South Korean Park Nan-Ho (L) meets her North Korean younger sister Park Tae-Ho
South Korean Park Nan-Ho (L) meets her North Korean younger sister Park Tae-HoGetty
South Korean Lee Young-Shil (R), 88, meets with her North Korean sister Lee Jung-Shil after being separated for 60 years
South Korean Lee Young-Shil (R), 88, meets with her North Korean sister Lee Jung-Shil after being separated for 60 yearsGetty
Kim Sa-Moon (L) meets with her North Korean older sister Kim Tae-Un,78
Kim Sa-Moon (L) meets with her North Korean older sister Kim Tae-Un,78Getty
South Korean Jung Hee-Kyung (L), 81, bids farewell to his North Korean relative
South Korean Jung Hee-Kyung (L), 81, bids farewell to his North Korean relativeGetty
Jang Choon, who was selected as one of 82 participants of the reunion ceremony, shows a picture of his youngest brother Jang Ha-choon whom he had not seen since he was a teenager in the 1950-53 Korean War
Jang Choon, who was selected as one of 82 participants of the reunion ceremony, shows a picture of his youngest brother Jang Ha-choon whom he had not seen since he was a teenager in the 1950-53 Korean WarReuters
North Koreans bid farewell to their South Korean relatives
North Koreans bid farewell to their South Korean relativesGetty