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Jan.18, 2006- File Lawsuit Against Government
Name: adimn
2014-01-03 17:27:21  |  Hit 1225


January 18, 2006, Chosun Ilbo, A9


Families of Korean War Abductees File First Lawsuit Against Government

Being taken by North Korean forces over the Imjin River, he screamed out, “Mother!” His hands tied firmly together, he was taken away cold and hungry.”
On the morning of the 17th at the Seoul Central Court, 15 family members whose loved ones were taken away by North Korean forces during the Korean War filed two separate lawsuits against the government demanding reparations.

Government has ignored the issue for 55 years
Provide reparations, and designate the abductees as national heroes

Kim Jik Ja, whose son was taken away instead of her husband, holds an old faded picture on her neck as she stands in line. She holds a cane in one hand as she quietly recites a poem in remembrance of her son. Her other hand tightly holds onto her daughter.

Ten family members whose abducted loved one was an ordinary civilian each filed a lawsuit demanding they receive $10,000 in reparations. Five family members whose abducted relatives were public servants each filed a lawsuit calling for their loved ones to be designated as national heroes and for the government to pay them $5000.

“The families of Korean War abductees have requested that the government investigate the abductee issue several times over the past 55 years,” said a Korean War Abductees’ Family Union (KWAFU) representative. “However, the government has failed to investigate these cases even though such an investigation does not require the assistance of North Korea. It has also refused to pass a law that would restore the honor of those public servants who have been abducted.

“Despite the fact that there is not even one abductee whose fate has been confirmed or reunions taking place, the government simply talks about the 480 people who were abducted by North Korea after the war like somehow that will solve the abductee and POW issue,” the representative continued. “Because of this, ordinary South Koreans are under the misconception that the government is taking a strong stand on the issue.”

Although lawsuits have been filed by the families of people who were abducted after the Korean War, this is the first time that families of wartime abductees have filed such a lawsuit. They aim to hold the government responsible for its negligence in resolving the issue.

The civilian abductees named in the suit include two lawyers, four management level employees, the head of a school, a former journalist, a youth representative, and one middle school student. Included here is Lee Gil Yong, who worked as a journalist until having to resign after erasing the Japanese flag from the picture of a Korean athlete during the Berlin Olympics in 1936. Other abductees include novelist Lee Gwang Su, Korea University President Hyun Sang Yoon, Seoul National University President Chae Gyu Dong, Seoul National University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Son Jin Tae, and National Assemblyman An Jae Hong.

Life has been very painful for family members who lost their love ones all too suddenly. Lee Gyung Chan, the son of Lee Ju Sin said that, “Lots of people have suffered, but my mother was barely able to raise the six of us while she worked as a cleaner at the offices of the Freedom Party.”

“My mother, who essentially became a widow at the age of 21, worked as a housekeeper in order to raise me,” said Sang Il, Lee Bong U’s son. “When I got older, I tried to enter the army academy but I could not even take the entry test because of my background.”

Although worries over getting enough food to eat were soon resolved, the yearning for one’s loved ones grew deeper as time went on. Sae Yong (70), the son of Oh Heon Sik, recalled that, “My mother suffered from hwabyong (severe pent-up anger) after my father was abducted. Until her death in 1996, she always prepared a meal for my father.”
“My lifelong dream was to be able to call out to my father,” said Sang Il (57). “The money that I’m asking for is not important. All I want to know is whether my father is alive or dead. If he’s died, I want to visit his grave, bow down to him, and pour him a glass of soju.”

Kim Jik Ja, whose eyes light up when asked about her son, pulls out another poem from her bad that contains her hopes for her son.”
“Who is responsible for this pain. If I only knew where to find where you are buried, it would brighten my next 100 days.”
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31 Jun. 25, 2007 - Herald Tribune: Sung Kap-soon
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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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21 Jun.14,2003-“Human Rights” Government Ignores
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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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