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Resolution of Ministry of Unificationthe on POWs and a
Name: Admin
2001-09-27 00:00:00  |  Hit 1318

Resolution of Ministry of Unificationthe on POWs and abductees issues

통일부에서 말하는 국군, 납북자 해결책
 
게시일 : 2000/12/10 (일) AM 07:22:36  조회 : 47  



국군포로 및 납북자 문제는 어떻게 해결할 것인가?


 역사적인「6.15 남북공동선언」이후 남북간에 이산가족 방문단 교환이 이루어지고 서신교환 및 면회소 설치 등이 추진됨으로써 인도적 문제 해결을 위한 새로운 전기를 맞고 있습니다.

 그러나 국군포로 및 납북자 문제는 북한의 부정적 태도로 인해 여전히 진전을 이루지 못하고 있습니다. 

 1953년 7월 유엔군측과 공산군측은 정전협정을 통해 자유의사에 의한 포로송환에 합의하고 포로교환을 실시했습니다. 그 결과, 유엔군측은 8만 3천명의 포로를 북으로 송환했고, 북으로 돌아가길 거부한 3만 5천명은 자유대한의 품에 안기게 되었습니다. 

 공산군측도 국군포로 8천 3백여명을 한국으로 돌려 보냈으나, 상당수(약 2만명 추정)는 송환되지 않았습니다. 이처럼 포로송환은 당시 미완인 채로 남아 있었지만 어쨌든 이로써 정전협정에 의한 포로교환 문제는 일단락 되었다고 할 수 있습니다. 

 그로부터 40여년의 세월이 흐른 1994년에 국군포로 출신의 첫 탈북자(조창호)가 귀환했으며, 탈북 국군포로의 증언 등을 통해 현재까지 재북 국군포로 출신 생존자 중 350여명이 확인되고 있습니다. 

 한편, 휴전후 지금까지 납북자 총 수는 3,790명으로서 90% 이상이 어부들입니다. 이 중 87%가 이미 송환되었고, 아직 북한에 남아 있을 것으로 보이는 인원은 13%인 487명으로 파악되고 있습니다.  

 그러나 북한이 국군포로 문제의 협의를 거부하고 있고 납북자의 경우도 `자유의사에 의한 월북`이라고 주장하고 있어, 당장 해결점을 찾기는 현실적으로 어려운 실정입니다.

 하지만, 현실적으로 북한에 국군포로 출신이 엄존해 있기 때문에 정부로서는 남쪽으로 돌아오겠다는 사람들의 송환을 위해 모든 노력을 경주하고 있는 것입니다.

 이와 같은 점들을 고려하여 정부는 우선 국군포로 및 납북자들을「넓은 의미의 이산가족」범주에 포함시켜 점진적으로 해결해 나가는 것이 보다 현실적인 방법이라고 판단하고 있습니다.

 국군포로와 납북자들도 이산가족과 마찬가지로「생사 확인」과「서신 교환」및「상봉」의 단계를 거쳐「자유의사에 의한 재결합」을 추진하는 방향으로 문제를 풀어 나갈 것입니다.

 한편 귀환 국군포로를 언론에 공개하지 않고 있다고 하는 일부 지적이 있으나, 이는 사실과 다르며, 관계부처 합동으로 일정기간 조사 등의 절차를 거쳐 사실을 확인한 후 관계 당국의 홈페이지 등을 통해 공개하고 있습니다. 

현재까지 국군포로는 총 16명이 귀환하였는데, 이중 14명이「국민의 정부」에 들어 우리 정부의 적극적인 노력으로 이루어진 것입니다.

 정부가 국군포로 귀환을 적극 홍보하지 않는 것은 ① 재북 가족 안위 등을 염려한 본인들의 요청 ② 탈출경로 보호 ③ 제3국과의 외교적 마찰 방지 등 여러 가지 문제를 고려한 때문입니다.

 탈북한 국군포로는 모든 수단과 방법을 동원하여 국내로 송환하고 있으며, 귀환한 사람들에 대해서는 과거를 묻지 않고「국군포로 대우 등에 관한 법률」(99.1 제정)에 의거, 억류기간 동안의 급여 지급, 연금·정착금·주거비 지원 등 특별한 대우로 국내 정착을 적극 지원하고 있습니다.

 앞으로도 정부는 여러 경로를 통해 국군포로 및 납북자 송환을 위한 다각적인 노력을 지속해 나갈 것입니다.



 
 

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21 22 23 24