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(1951) Transfer of Requesting Aid Concerning the relea
Name: National Arc
2005-06-30 11:28:31  |  Hit 831

(Dec. 22, 1951) Transfer of Requesting Aid Concerning the release of the Korean War Abductees


 National Archives & Records Administration


This is an official letter from the Second National Assembly Speaker of the House, Shin Ik-hee, to the President, on resolving the abductee matter. The Korean War Abductees Family Association back then sent a petition to the National Assembly requesting for the cooperation of  the UN Armistice Commission in the repatriation of abductees, which was examined and resolved by the National Assembly with a note that it is appropriate to be on agenda at the plenary session.

This document shows that the National Assembly understood that the Korean War abductee issue was a serious and urgent matter. The Second National Assembly (May 31, 1950 - May 30, 1954)that faced the Korean War only a week since its opening, convened an emergency meeting to pass a resolution that pointed out the injustice of North Korea's unlawful invasion to the UN and to the United States, and asked for emergency aid. It also convened an urgent extraordinary meeting at 2 AM, June 27th 1950, to pass a resolution on defending to death Seoul, the capital.

 However, the North Korean troops occupied Seoul at the dawn the following day. Their troops located and abducted 27 Second National Assemblymen and 40 Constitutional Assemblymen who had not fled from the city. The enclosed petition contains a request to the government to ask the UN to demand repatriation of South Korean abductees just the same way as the UN  asked for the repatriation of non-Korean civilians at during the armistice talks.


Dec. 22, 1951

Second National Assembly Speaker of the House, Shin, Ik-hee

To President Rhee, Seung-man


Transfer of Petition Requesting Release of the Korean War Abductees

The subject petition from the president Jang, Ki-bin of the Korean War Abductees’ Family Association, dated Dec. 22, 1951, is being transferred, together with opinion produced from the plenary session of the Second National Assembly as contained on a separate paper, to the government for earliest action, following the National Assembly resolution thereon.


The purpose of the petition on the separate paper submitted by the president Jang Ki-bin of the Korean War Abductees’ Family Association is to request the UN Armistice Committee to take necessary action for release of the Korean War abductees. The request is considered justifiable and early materialization of it by the armistice talks is requested.

 < Petition>

To: Minister of Office of Public Information

September 1, 1950

    On behalf of the entire members of the Korean War Abductees’ Family Association, we submit to your Excellency our petition.

    Korean War Abductees’ Family Association, consisting of families of those abducted by the Communists during the Korean War and organized in Seoul soon after the recovery of Seoul on September 28, 1950, dispatched an investigation and rescue team to various locations in North Korea, following advancing UN and Korean troops to gather information on whereabouts of the abductees. However, to our regret, due to our meager capacity and the second fall of Seoul, we were at stake of breaking up in pieces without any result. We are now in the stage putting ourselves together again in Pusan.

    The Korean War not only resulted in the loss of property, culture and economic foundation but also loss of valuable and patriotic leaders in various sectors of the society who were fully equipped in terms of ideology and in spirit. In other words, we lost national spine overnight, a tragedy beyond description. It is not necessary to mention again that they were indispensable combatants without weapons, fighting against our enemies to fulfill our national task. It is deemed the utmost mission of the Korean people to rescue them to continue reconstruction of this nation as well as on the humanitarian ground.

No harsh condition and torture could change their patriotism, a living evidence of which was found by our team on a wall in the PyeongYang Prison while the team was in PyeongYang city. It was a poem written by an abductee, expressing his desperate hope of rescue. It was a glimpse of their dire love of the country and sad but strong coherence to free countries.

Freedom-an immortal phoenix

Leaving our homeland behind

An iron-curtained inferno

We are dragged towards hellish death

Oh my country, oh United Nations

That you will deliver us from this hell, this death

We have faith

     What an unchanging yet sad faith and loyalty to their fatherland. Deadly march could not deter their love of the nation and freedom. All the while they were being dragged away, breaking down from hunger, illness and torture, or imprisoned in an isolated area somewhere in North Korea, northeastern China or Siberia, they must be eagerly waiting for a rescuing hand to reach them. They have faith in this. Not only because they are our beloved family members but also because they were and are the corner stones needed for building a strong nation, we cannot help but lamenting their fate. People in free nations paid so much attention to a journalist detained in Czechoslovakia

The Armistice talks started lately in Gaesong receiving attention from all over the world while reunification work of our fatherland is underway. Knowing that cease-fire at this stage is not only meaningless but is the plot of the cunning Communists, we have been insisting on reunification of fatherland. One newspaper report that both shocked us and gave us some hope is the demand of repatriation of foreign missionaries, diplomats and citizens made at the Armistice talks. This we evaluate very highly as a noble spirit of the U.N., the symbol of justice and humanitarianism. We see no reason that the Korean leaders should not be included in the demand for repatriation, who were abducted while performing their nation-building task. If rescue of foreign people is a supreme task, it should include Korean leaders, and if not included, it would be against the spirit of the U.N.

Your Excellency, we beg you to make a plan to rescue the abductees by having the nations concerned move toward a positive action, and, in particular, the U.N. to flawlessly adhere to its noble mission. On the other hand, rescue of them would write another splendid chapter for our country, while also offering a good solution to shortage of able manpower. As for us, their families, it would remind us once again how much our nation means to us and make our mind to continue devoting ourselves to the nation.

Finally, may we stress that these abductees are ready to sacrifice themselves for freedom and their loyalty to the nation would not deteriorate under any harsh conditions. We humbly wait for your good consideration on this matter. 

Note: Official registration of Korean War Abductees’ Family Association is under deliberation. 

Enclosure: 1 copy of List of the Korean War Abductees 

Jang, Ki-bin

President of Korean War Abductees’ Family Association

970 Choryang-dong, Pusan




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