Seoul Holds Mass Wedding for North Korean Defectors

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

Seoul held a mass wedding ceremony for North Korean defectors on Tuesday, reports Channel News Asia.

About 100 couples were chosen to get married at the free wedding ceremony in Seoul’s Olympic Park. The South Korean government and nonprofit organization Happy World organized the ceremony in an effort to assist North Korean defectors who are unable to afford a wedding of their own, according to the Chosun Ilbo.

Sixty of the newlyweds married fellow North Korean defectors, while 30 tied the knot with foreigners, mostly Chinese. Meanwhile, 10 North Koreans wedded South Koreans. Ages of the brides and grooms ranged from their 20s to their 60s.

South Korea’s Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo attended the mass wedding and wished the couples a blissful marriage. He added that the newlyweds are setting the foundation for the unification of the two Koreas.

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 9.38.08 AMNorth Korean bride with her South Korean husband at a Seoul mass wedding.
(Screenshot captured via Channel News Asia)

One bride described the ceremony as “extraordinary,” claiming that it’s not easy to meet the “right person” in a relationship.

“I’m North Korean and he is South Korean. Not only is the language different, but also the culture,” she told Channel News Asia as she stood next to her smiling husband. “I think it’s really great that we can live together by overcoming cultural barriers and being understanding and respectful of each other.”

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Featured image via Yonhap

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