Jun.14,2003-“Human Rights” Government Ignores
Name: admin
2014-01-03 16:22:13  |  Hit 1222
June 14, 2003, Donga Ilbo, A6
A “Human Rights” Government That Ignores the Rights of People Abducted by North Korea

“I’ve been very happy because I’ve met many people who are interested in want to help us, but at the same time the disinterest in the issue by the South Korean government has given me mixed feelings.”
These are the words spoken by a representative of a Korean War abductees advocacy group who recently visited the U.S. to call for more interest and support by the international community for the issue.

Recently, seven representatives from four South Korean Korean War abductees advocacy groups met with members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Executive Branch in Washington and New York to share their views on the abductee issue. The representatives said the visits were successful because they laid the groundwork for potential cooperation with international human rights groups.

“We decided to move forward with having a former abductee testify in the U.S. House of Representatives, and I felt the trip was particularly successful because it appears the abductee issue will be included in the human rights report released by the U.S. State Department,” said one representative. “We also received a lot of support from our fellow countrymen and women living overseas.”
Concern that the abductee issue could damage North-South Korean relations has made the activists a thorn in the side of the South Korean government and very few South Korean politicians are willing to help their cause. In contrast, the activists have found a great deal of interest and support for their cause in the U.S.

The group also experienced considerable disappointment when they tried to hand over a CD-ROM with the names of more than 80,000 Korean War abductees and a list of 486 people who were abducted after the war to the office of the North Korean representative to the U.N. The office refused to even accept the lists.

The North Korean official who answered the phone said brazenly before hanging up that, “North Korea has never abducted in anyone.” The activists were left wondering if they were truly blood related to such people.
Their visit to the South Korean consulate in New York was another disappointment. The consulate said the activists could not meet with the consulate general because he was out of the office. One of the activists recalled feeling intense anger and disappointment when he overheard a consulate employee tell the person he was on the phone with that, “Tell them no one’s here.” It made him wonder if the government really existed because neither the embassy nor consulate cared at all about the issue.

A Japanese liaison officer at the New York offices of the U.N. Human Rights Committee heard what the activists had to say and recommended that it would be an issue that the South Korean government must act on. The activists asked rhetorically in response that if the South Korean government had any intention to act on it would the activists find themselves all the way out here?

South Korea now has a national human rights commission that comments on the human rights of Iraqi civilians and a president who prides himself in having his start as a human rights lawyer. Is it really necessary for people from such a country to come all the way to the U.S. to ask for help and go through so much trouble just to get their voice heard?
32 Aug. 22, 2007 - U.S. HOR Moves Forward
14-01-07 1526
31 Jun. 25, 2007 - Herald Tribune: Sung Kap-soon
14-01-07 1239
30 Jun. 23, 2007 - Abductees amounts to 126,325
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29 Sep.19, 2006 - Interview: Director Kim Ji-hye
14-01-07 1539
28 Aug.16, 2006 - Deep Analysis of Reality
14-01-07 1387
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
14-01-03 1267
24 Jun. 21, 2005 - “I Only Want to Know..."
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23 Jun.26,2004- Gov. Must Work to Find Abductees
14-01-03 1410
22 Jun. 23, 2003 - Must Work Proactively
14-01-03 1325
21 Jun.14,2003-“Human Rights” Government Ignores
14-01-03 1221
20 Jun.11, 2003 - North Representative Refuses
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19 Sept. 20, 2002 - Calls for Speedy Resolution
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18 Sep.19, 2002 - “Raise the Issue of Abductees"
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17 Mar.8,2002 - Argues Only One to Investigate
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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 Jan. 22, 2002 - Release of Abductees' List
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13 Jan. 21, 2002 - War Abductee List Released
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