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Kwon Tae-sul
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2013-12-26 15:57:28  |  Hit 2148
Files : Kwon Tae-sul.docx  

Abductee: Kwon Tae-sul
Recorded Date: October 25, 2007

Profile of Abductee

Name: Kwon Tae-sul (male)
Date of Birth: April 26, 1903
Place of Birth: Seoul
Last Address: 91 Myeongnyun-dong 2-ga Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Date of Abduction: Around 8 a.m., August 8, 1950 (age 47)
Place of Abduction: Home
Occupation: Public servant (Director of Jung-gu District Office of the Seoul Metropolis)
Education/Career: Department of Law, Chuo University in Tokyo, Japan / Administrator of the Property Administration Department of the US army military government
Dependents: Wife, 4 sons, 2 daughters
Appearance/Personality: 160 cm, oval face with a mustache, wearing glasses / gentle and precise

Profile of Witness

Name: Kwon Yeong-hwan (born in 1936)
Relation: Second son
Type of Witness: Direct witness

Summary of the Abduction

- The abductee was a public servant who worked as a director of Jung-gu District Office of the Seoul Metropolis. He was abducted by an Internal Bureau officer or an agent from the North Korean Political Security Bureau who came with an armed soldier on August 8, 1950.
- The abductee majored in Law in Japan and worked in the judicial branch after he came back to Korea. He was probably abducted because of his career as a high-ranking official who could work for the North as an administrator.
- A man in his plain clothes came with an armed soldier in the early morning of August 8, 1950. The abductee left with them saying that he would be back soon. The only information the family received was that he had been taken to the Mapo Police Station.
- Bae Sang-hwa, a chief editor of Yonhap News, wrote an article about his escape. In the article, he said he was confined in the Seodae-mun Prison with a singer Kim Hye-song, a writer Park Yeong-ae, and the abductee. It is assumed that the abductee was also taken to the North with the group through Cheongnyangni, Ui-dong, and Hantan River.
- Although 60 years have passed, his whereabouts has not been revealed due to the noncooperation of North Korea.
- Kwon Tae-sul was mentioned several times in abductee statistics, put together by the South Korean government and the Korea National Red Cross, and in the CIA Information Report, those are listing names of South Koreans captured by North Korea. Based on those documents, Kwon Tae-sul was granted legal status of an abductee from the South Korean government.

Details of Abduction

Q. What was his job when the war broke out?
After the Republic of Korea was established in 1948, my father was appointed as the director of Jung-gu District Office of the Seoul Metropolis in February 14, 1949. He was not involved in any political activities or movements; he was just a public servant.

Q. How was he abducted?
It was around 7~8 a.m. in the morning of August 8th, 1950. An Internal Bureau officer or an agent from the Political Security Bureau who was in his plain clothes came with an armed soldier and asked for my father. My father was sleeping at that time. My mother woke him up and said someone was looking for him.
Right at the moment, the agent burst into the room and told my father to come with him. My father said, “Okay. But I have a habit of going to the restroom every morning. So just wait a minute.” Then, he went to the restroom. The agent followed my father to the restroom, assuming that my father would leave contact information or look for something that he hid in the restroom. Or maybe the agent wanted to go to the restroom for himself.
When he was following my father to the restroom, he handed a pistol to the soldier. They might have threatened my father with it if he did not meekly obey them. As he was leaving the house with them, he said to my three-year-old sibling, “I’ll be home soon.” That was the last time we saw him or heard his voice.

Q. Did your family think that he would be back soon?
Whether the agent felt sorry or not, he said to my mother that my father would be released in three or four days after the investigation. He also said that there was no need to worry. We thought what he said was true. We believed my father would be back soon.

Q. Was he able to escape?
Not really. He probably thought that he didn’t do anything wrong and he was just a civil servant. But apparently, they did not think that way.

Reason behind the Abduction

Q. What do you think is the reason behind the abduction?
Considering all circumstances, my father was probably abducted because he could work for the North as an administrator or civil servant. He was old to be a soldier. He was taken to the North because of his experience and knowledge.

Q. Were there any other similar cases?
Yes. There was Mr. Hwang who worked in the same office with my father. I don’t know him personally, but I heard that he was ordered to appear as a witness. He obeyed the order and since then, we could not hear from him either.

News after the Abduction

Q. Have you ever heard about your father after the abduction?
My brother who worked for a bank tried very hard to find him back and get some information about him, but no news about his whereabouts were given to us since the abduction.
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