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Mar.8,2002 - Argues Only One to Investigate
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2014-01-03 16:08:07  |  Hit 1171
March 8, 2002, Donga Ilbo, A 30
Families of Korean War Abductees Dealt Another Blow
Government Ignores List of More Than 80,000 Abductees
KWAFU Argues Government Only One with Resources to Investigate

The families of Korean War abductees have been plunged into pain a second time due to the Ministry of Unification’s lack of caring for their plight. Until a nationwide list of abductees was discovered by a Korean War abductee advocacy group, the government argued that such a list did “not exist.” Even now, despite the fact that the list has been released to the public, the government says that investigating the cases of abduction shown by the list “is not its job.”

As a result, the families of the abductees are having to go through the list themselves, a gargantuan task given that the list has more than 82,000 names.

The Korean War Abductees’ Family Union (KWAFU), which released the list, said they have asked the Ministry of Unification and other government agencies to find a list of the abductees for the past two years, but have been told only that such a list did not exist.

“We asked the government to begin taking in abduction reports if no lists are available,” said a family union representative. “Our government contact has been replaced three times, but we have not received any response.”

In response to this, the Ministry of Unification said that it was unaware that any such a list was in existence until the family union discovered it in December of last year. The ministry also shifted responsibility for investigating and providing reparations to the Ministry of Security and Public Administration.

“The investigation of abductions that took place after the Korean War would fall under the authority of the Ministry of Unification,” said a Ministry of Unification official. “However, abductions that occurred during the Korean War are the responsibility of the Ministry of Security and Public Administration. I’m also aware that there is no department within that ministry to deal with this kind of issue.”

The biggest issue facing the family union in deciphering the list is that the list is categorized by address and there is no way to confirm each of the 82,000 names on the list except by going over each and every one.

Compounding this issue is the fact that the remaining families of abductees are so old that they have difficulty remembering the exact addresses of where they lived, the affiliations and positions of their abducted loved ones, and where and when their family members were abducted.

Creating a database takes considerable time, money and resources, so the family union is requesting that the government take the lead in creating one. Unfortunately, it appears that political infighting concerning who is in charge of the abductee issue will continue to play out for the foreseeable future.

“The entire list is written entirely in Chinese characters and is categorized only by city and county addresses, so there’s no way to find specific names without going through each and every entry,” said Mr. Kim, whose grandfather was abducted during the war. “I think that the government should help organize the list to make it easier to search through.”

KWAFU President Mi-Il Lee said, “We have created a new department in our office dedicated to deciphering the list, but it’s just not enough. Even after discovering a list we have received not one phone call from the government.”
  List  
No
Title
Name
Date
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32 Aug. 22, 2007 - U.S. HOR Moves Forward
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31 Jun. 25, 2007 - Herald Tribune: Sung Kap-soon
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30 Jun. 23, 2007 - Abductees amounts to 126,325
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29 Sep.19, 2006 - Interview: Director Kim Ji-hye
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28 Aug.16, 2006 - Deep Analysis of Reality
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27 Jun.22,2006-Just Want to Know Fate of 82,959
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26 Jan.18, 2006- File Lawsuit Against Government
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25 Jun.23,2005 - Following the path of Abductees
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24 Jun. 21, 2005 - “I Only Want to Know..."
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23 Jun.26,2004- Gov. Must Work to Find Abductees
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22 Jun. 23, 2003 - Must Work Proactively
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14-01-03 1131
21 Jun.14,2003-“Human Rights” Government Ignores
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14-01-03 1030
20 Jun.11, 2003 - North Representative Refuses
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19 Sept. 20, 2002 - Calls for Speedy Resolution
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14-01-03 971
18 Sep.19, 2002 - “Raise the Issue of Abductees"
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14-01-03 993
17 Mar.8,2002 - Argues Only One to Investigate
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14-01-03 1170
16 Feb.1, 2002 - Calls on to Pass Special Law
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15 Jan. 31, 2002- Families Call for Compensation
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14-01-03 968
14 Jan. 22, 2002 - Release of Abductees' List
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13 Jan. 21, 2002 - War Abductee List Released
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