Apr. 25, 2012 - Recite Names of Abductees
Name: admin
2014-01-16 10:54:29  |  Hit 1228

▲ Family members of South Korean POWs and abductees read the names of their loved ones during “North Korea Freedom Week.” The week’s events were held in Wonpyo Park,Gwangwhamun, on the 25th.

“We have not forgotten you”

Apr. 25, 2012

An alliance of defector groups and North Korean human rights organizations read off the names of Korean War POWs and abductees as part of the events taking place marking “North Korea Freedom Week” this year.

The groups demanded for the immediate repatriation of POWs and abductees and called for reunions and exchanges to take place. “North Korea must open up to the world to allow those families and abductees who are reaching old age to be able to meet once again.

“Repatriating POWs and abductees is the responsibility of the nation, and we hope that concern will grow in South Korea toward the resolution of this issue.”
Congresswoman Park Sun Young (Liberty Forward Party) said that, “I am saddened each time I hear the name of an abductee. The rain falling today seems to reflect the pain of the families of abductees.”
“The families do not even know where their loved ones are living,” she continued. “This issue needs to be solved through proactive interest by the government and people, and even through the International Criminal Court if need be.”
“This event must show the world our efforts and hope for a resolution to this issue and not just become an echo with no answer.”

“The holding of today’s event is due to the interest of the South Korean people,” said Susan Sholte. “Just as the Japanese government understands and is working to resolve the abductee issue, the South Korean government must work to repatriate the abductees,” she said, criticizing the passive stance on the issue by the South Korean government.

“The reading of abductees’ names is an act of showing respect toward their human rights,” said Lee Mi-Il, the president of KWAFU. “Abductees would be proud to see how developed South Korea has become.”
“We need to hold more events aimed at international solidarity because there are limits to what the South Korean government can do to solve the issue,” she continued.

North Korea Freedom Week has been held since 2004 by the U.S. human rights organization Defense Forum, and aims to spread awareness worldwide about the human rights abuses against the North Korean people.

This year marks the third time the event has been held in Seoul, and the week’s events are managed by the U.S. North Korea Freedom Alliance, an alliance of defector organizations and South Korean North Korean human rights organizations.
Over 83,537 names were read aloud during the “POW and Abductees Name Reading Campaign” held today. Of these names, 82,641 are wartime abductees, 510 are post-war abductees and 286 are abductees from other countries.
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