Oct. 7, 2011 - NK intentionally hid the truth
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2014-01-14 13:40:42  |  Hit 1115
North Korea intentionally hid the truth about the civilian abduction at the Armistice Talks
It claimed that the UN had abducted 500,000 North Koreans

Chosun Daily
Oct. 7, 2011

Research has found that North Korea intentionally hid the crime of abducting 80,000 civilians during the Korea War at the Armistice Talks, which took place from July 1951. The North stopped the issue of abductees from coming to light by falsely claiming that the UN had abducted 500,000 North Korean civilians and that the North abducted no one.

Lee Young-jo, professor at the Graduate School of International Studies of Kyung Hee University said in a paper, written at the request of Lee Mi-il, President of the Korean War Abductees’ Family Union (KWAFU), that North Korea used an elaborate strategy in the Armistice Talks to cover up its crime of abducting civilians during the war. According to the paper, the North Korean regime hid its war crime by strongly denying the abduction and thereby buying time.

◆ The North made a false claim that the UN had abducted 500,000 North Korean civilians

Lee Sang-jo, a North Korean Army general, was the head of the North Korean delegation at the Subcommittee’s 4th session of the Armistice Talks. At the 19th session in January 1952, Lee refused to negotiate, saying, “We do not understand why you say that we took the South Korean civilians.” Professor Lee says that, at that time, the UN side had acquired a list of Korean War abductees from the Korean government. According to the list of victims in Seoul, published by the Statistics Service at the Bureau of Public Information in December 1950, from Seoul alone, 2,438 key figures, including those in the politics, government branches, law and press, were taken to the North.

On the top of that, North Korea claimed that 90,000 South Korean soldiers who were forcibly conscripted into the North Korean Army actually joined the Army willingly. At the 22nd session in January 1952, Lee Sang-jo said, “It’s entirely understandable that people volunteered for the North Korean Army, which fights for the freedom and welfare of the public and the nation.”

From the 11st session in December 1951, the North falsely claimed that the UN had abducted 500,000 North Korean civilians. From the 14th session in December 1951, the Northern delegation argued, “The UN abducted tens of thousands of North Korean civilians by threatening them with military force. They are living in devastating conditions in South Korea and such a miserable standard of living cannot be found anywhere in the world.”

◆ The North dodged the abduction issue by exhausting the UN with prolonged negotiations

Professor Lee said that the UN planned to include the abductees in the list for the one-for-one exchange, but compromised with the North as North Korea’s strong rejection delayed the Armistice Agreement.

Negotiations with the North eventually exhausted the UN. On July 27, 1953, the UN signed the Armistice Agreement with the North while establishing the Committee for Assisting the Return of Displaced Civilians and including a provision that the North should give full support to those who want to go back. However, in a February 1954 broadcast, North Korea announced that no South Korean civilians in the North were willing to go back.

Professor Lee’s paper is going to be presented at an international seminar on the “Armistice Talks of the Korean War and the Issue of Repatriating Korean War Abductees,” hosted by KWAFU at the National Press Club in Washington DC, US on the 7th. KWAFU delegation plans to file a petition demanding the introduction of a resolution on the abductees in the US House of Representatives.
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