Jun.22,2006-Just Want to Know Fate of 82,959
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2014-01-03 17:36:31  |  Hit 1144

Jun. 22, 2006, 1st page, Dong-A Daily
“We still do not know the fate of 82,959 Korean War abductees”

Demands to learn the truth about abductees have been ignored
Government’s indifferent attitude has devastated many

《The following interview took place four days before the 56th anniversary of the Korean War. Lee Mi-il (57), President of the Korean War Abductees’ Family Union (KWAFU), does not recall her father’s face. However, her “faceless father” still lives in her heart. He was abducted by Security Bureau officers in September 1950 and no news has been heard from him since. The reason behind his abduction was that he donated money to the Northwest Young Men’s Association, a rightist group.》

The Korean government has never taken a proactive approach to finding out the fate of Lee Mi-il’s father, according to Lee Mi-il, President of KWAFU. It officially announced that the number of people abducted after the Korean War was 485, but has never gone public on the number of people taken to the North during the War.

“It is truly heartbreaking to accept the fact that my father has been forgotten. I heard that Kim Young-nam (45), who was taken to the North in 1978 when he was a high school student, is going to meet his mother at the reunion of separated families scheduled for late June.” She feels a mix of envy and bitterness whenever she hears about the union of Kim Young-nam and his mother.

“I have repeatedly asked the Ministry of Unification for information on the Korean War abductees, but all I heard from them was that they know nothing. The same response came from the National Archives of Korea, the National Police Agency, and the National Intelligence Service. I was devastated to find out that the government and its public agencies do not care about the problems of an individual. That is why I founded the Korean War Abductees’ Family Union in 2000 with families of Korean War abductees.”

Lee thinks the government is not looking out for its people. Now the gray-haired daughter is leading the way to prove the existence of South Korean civilians who were taken to North Korea during the War like her own father.

Lee and the members of the KWAFU made frequent visits to the National Assembly Library as well as the National Archives of Korea. Their endless efforts finally paid off in 2002 at the National Library of Korea. They found five books containing a “list of the persons kidnapped during the Korean War,” published by the government in 1952.

According to these books, the number of South Korean civilians taken to the North during the Korean War amounts to 82,959. Encouraged, Lee and the KWAFU continued to look for more information and found other documents, including a 1954 list of the Ministry of Home Affairs, which gave the total number of the Korean War abductees as 17,000.

The KWAFU is putting together a “Korean War Abduction Sourcebook” based on information gathered so far. It aims to publish the Sourcebook in September this year.
The Sourcebook is approximately 900 pages and includes the lists of the Korean War abductees and official government documents, which were gathered by the KWAFU from every corner of the nation.

Lee Mi-il demanded an explanation of why the government announced that the number Korean War abductees was 485, which was in fact only the number of people abducted after the war from the Minister of Unification, Lee Jong-seok, at his confirmation hearing in April. Minister Lee promised to find out what have happened to the wartime abductees and gave 10 million won to publish the Korean War Abduction Sourcebook, saying that he would make sure nothing like this ever happened again.

However, Lee Mi-il is still frustrated with the Ministry’s passive stance toward finding out the truth. A person working at the Ministry of Unification said, “The Ministry is consulting with related agencies on the scope, time and method of investigating what happened to the Korean War abductees,” adding that the existence of the wartime abductees is already known, as documents submitted to the National Assembly show.”

Conference urging the repatriation of the Korean War abductees held today
Today, the KWAFU is holding a “Conference Urging the Repatriation of the Korean War Abductees” to mark the 56th anniversary of the Korean War Abductions” in front of the Seodaemun Prison History Museum in Hyeonjeo-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul. It plans to urge the government to find out the fates of the estimated 100,000 Korean War abductees and bring them back to their families.
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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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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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