Reuniting US-North Korean Families Separated By War

Senate hosts premiere of Divided Families, a documentary on Korean Americans searching relatives in North Korea after 60 years of separation

To arrange interviews, please contact:
[JASON AHN,, 925-399-2504]

Date: Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: Dirksen Senate Office Building, Rm SD-G50
Guests: Chahee Lee Stanfield (divided family member), Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL)


Washington, D.C. — September 30, 2011. The Senate will host on Tuesday, October 4, a screening of Divided Families, a documentary chronicling Korean Americans forcibly separated from family members in North Korea. Senator Mark Kirk will urge the U.S. to support family reunions with North Korea. In 2007, then-congressman Kirk established the Congressional Commission on Divided Families – the first official mechanism inside the U.S. Government to advocate for the reunification of divided Korean-American families.

Ms. Chahee Lee Stanfield, a divided family member, was five years old when she was separated from her father and brother in North Korea. Like thousands of other families, she has been unable to find out what happened to them after the war. Ms. Stanfield has been an advocate for this issue for over a decade in the Korean American community. She will also speak about the heartbreaking stories she heard from elderly divided families desperately seeking news of their loved ones.

The Divided Families film will illustrate the dangers and frustrations that elderly Korean Americans face when they plead with the North Korean government for family reunions. Without protection from either the U.S or the South Korean governments, they are vulnerable to many

“Time is running out for divided families,” said Jason Ahn, a director of the film and currently a student at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Kennedy School. “This may be our last chance to help.”

Mr. Ahn was inspired to make the film after the death of his grandmother. Her lifelong wish had been to see her sister in North Korea.

Chahee Stanfield and the filmmakers will be available after the screening for interviews.
Light refreshments will be served.