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Jun. 27, 2011 - Just want to know their fate
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2014-01-14 11:51:51  |  Hit 1081



Just want to know their fate
Deep resentment of 61 years still continues

Dong-A Daily
Jun. 27, 2011


Kim Jae-jo, son of Kim Gi-jeong who was abducted during the Korean War, explained the abduction while showing a picture of his father. The son still does not know whether his father is still alive or not.

The interview took place in a building located in Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul on the 24th. During the interview, Kim Jae-jo (69) barely held back his tears of longing for his abducted father.

His father, Kim Gi-jeong, was born in 1896 and served as a governor of Yesan, South Chungcheong province. In the beginning of September, 1950, he was dragged to the North by the North Korean Army from his home in Dongam-dong, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul. Kim Gi-jeong studied in Waseda University in Japan in 1919 and participated in independence movements, including the Feb. 8 Declaration of Independence.

After Korea was liberated from Japan, he came back to Korea and served as a governor of Buyeo and Yesan in South Chungcheong province. Dreaming of becoming a politician, he moved to Seoul in 1948, but after the Korean War broke out he was abducted on the pretence that his wealth must have come from his public post.

Kim Jae-jo said, “At the time of my father’s abduction, I was eight years old. Everyday, he hid himself on a nearby mountain and came home early in the morning for a brief time.

One day I was having an early breakfast with my father when two North Korean soldiers suddenly came in with guns in their hands.” He said that he cried out “Father” and followed them when his father was being dragged away by the North Korean soldiers, but had to come home because the soldiers threatened him. This is the last memory that Kim Jae-jo has of his father.

Kim Jae-jo is the fourth oldest among three sons and two daughters. 60 years have passed, but he still vividly remembers his father’s special love for him. His father’s mining company and Kim Jae-jo’s school were both located in Euljiro, Seoul, so they walked to Euljiro every day holding hands.

Kim Jae-jo said, “Right before the Korean War broke out, my father promised to buy me a bicycle when he was walking me to school. So whenever I see a father and son riding bicycles together, I think of my father’s promise.”

Kim Jae-jo thought his father would come home when Seoul was recaptured, but he never did. After the Korean War, he applied for programs of the Inter-Korean Red Cross and the government to find separated family members, but all he heard was that they could not find his father.

After inter-Korean relations improved, his disappointment grew. A reunion of family members took place in 2000, but the North Korean regime denied the very fact of his father’s abduction.

He said that he is frustrated about North Korea denying his father’s abduction because he saw with his own eyes that his father was taken by the North Korean Army.

10 years ago, believing that his father has a low chance of surviving, he prepared a family vault in Boryeong, South Chungcheong province, and set up an ancestral tablet. He said that he wished to be placed beside his father’s ancestral tablet so that he could be with him in the next world.

Kim Jae-jo says, “It is truly regrettable to see people forgetting about the Korean War. On the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, people briefly paid attention, but now even that is fading away.” He added that although people have forgotten them, the lifelong suffering caused by their loss is still ongoing.

Kim Jae-jo’s case is not unique. According to the Korean War Abductees’ Family Union and government, the victims of the abduction number well over 100,000.

In March of last year, the Act on Investigating Abductions by North Korea during the Korean War and Restoring Honor to the Victims passed the National Assembly. The government, however, is still figuring out the list of abductees, and not taking any proactive measures to protect its citizens.

Kim Jae-jo appeals to the government, saying “If it is difficult to bring the abductees home for political reasons, just let us know their fates, so our long and deep grief can be resolved.”
  List  
No
Title
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Date
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70 Sept. 14, 2011 - U.S. Ambassador Urges
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69 Aug.16, 2011 - Interview with Lee Mi-il
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68 Aug. 4, 2011 - Editorial of Joongang Daily
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67 Aug. 4, 2011 - Editorial of Chosun Daily
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66 Aug. 3, 2011 - Gov. Official Acknowledge 55
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65 Aug. 3, 2011 - Gov. Official Acknowledge 55
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64 Jul. 28, 2011 - Day of Remembrance
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63 Jul. 7, 2011 - Investigation for 96,000 Begun
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62 Jun.27, 2011 - If only I could know his fate
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61 Jun. 27, 2011 - Just want to know their fate
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60 May 14, 2011- HRNK's Report on the Abduction
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59 May5,2010-Resolve mother’s 60-year resentment
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58 May 5, 2011- 12 Nations to Discuss Abduction
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57 Apr. 28, 2011 - Event of Reciting the Names
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56 Mar. 4, 2011- 125 Reports have been Submitted
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55 Dec.14, 2010- First Attempt of the Government
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54 Dec.13, 2010 - Opening Ceremony of Committee
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53 Dec.13, 2010 - Establishment of the Committee
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