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Park Sung-woo
Name: admin
2013-12-26 16:13:52  |  Hit 1194
Files : Park Sung-woo.docx  


Abductee: Park Sung-woo
Recorded Date: October 28th, 2005


Profile of Abductee

Date of Birth: April 15, 1909
Place of Birth: Sangju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea
Last Address: Yongmun-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Date of Abduction: App. July 1950 (age 41)
Place of Abduction: At his home
Occupation: Member of the 2nd National Assembly
Education/Career: Sangju City Agriculture & Sericulture School
Dependents: Wife and 7 children
Appearance/Personality: Pacificatory and conversational


Profile of Testifier

Name: Pak Du-gon (born in 1933)
Relationship: Eldest son
Type of Witness: Indirect


Summary of the Abduction

- Abductee was a member of the 2nd National Assembly. He was a former central committee member the Korea Sericulture Assn. and the Korea Farmers Assn.
- The abductee, an influential person in the Sangju area, was residing at the house owned by his younger sister-in-law when the War broke out.
- With the Han River Bridge disconnected, he was unable to escape from Seoul and was at the last known address, when 3 persons of North Korean authority took him, saying they had a few brief questions to ask him. Missing without any information since then.
- The Korean National Red Cross sent us an official letter with information that he had been relocated to a coop farm after being with the Peaceful Reunification Promotion Council conference in North Korea in 1956.
- Dong-a Daily, in its July 7, 2005 edition, reported that one of the 62 tombstones in a PyeongYang cemetery reading “died on Feb. 4, 1954” was found. However, correct date of death was not confirmed due to two different years mentioned in two different pieces of information.


Description of abduction

Q. How was he abducted?

One person who had accompanied my father returned. I did not know then as I wasn’t with him but later I learned that my father went to Incheon to meet someone. While he was there, the war broke out. He returned to the National Assembly hurriedly only to find it gone. He, an MP elected in a province, who trusted the President, Seung-man Rhee and, therefore, his radio broadcast, “My fellow citizens, I assure you our safety,” didn’t know what to do but lingered, then the Han River bridge was destroyed, blocking him from leaving Seoul.

According to what I heard from my mother-side aunt, three of North Korean organizational members or so, could be Mincheong members, came and took him, in shirt and rubber shoes, saying “Let’s go. We have some brief questions to ask you. It won’t take long.” My aunt, who was unfamiliar with anything political and did not think of asking who they were, said that it was the last time she saw him. It was a day in July but she couldn't tell the exact date.
Q: Did you report the abduction to the Korean Red Cross, then?

I’m very disappointed by the Red Cross as I don’t know what it has done. There has been no result at all but letting the data we (former body of the present KWAFU) prepared in 1957 sit in its storage space gathering mold. This being the reality, I don't trust KNRC nor the government, and this leaves me with no other place to resort to. I have kept silent until recently when I learned from mass media that the former President Kim Dae-Jung embraced North Korean Premier Kim Jong-Il as it gave me some hope of opening the tightly closed gate. Since then, I made some efforts to get information on my father through KNRC.
My younger brother made an inquiry, under the name of the group he belonged to in Sangju, about my father. A reply came informing us that my father was with an organization named Peaceful Reunification Promotion Council in North Korea in 1956. After which, in 1957, he was sent to a coop farm, apparently because he had not been obedient but was critical of their policy.
A former MP, otherwise, would not have been sent to a coop farm. Probably he was sent there for self-reflection. This was an official document we received. It was the first and the last official letter sent by an organization to the Republic of Korea.


Reason behind the Abduction

Q. What do you think was the reason he was abducted?

I think it was because he was an MP. Had our family been with him in Seoul, we could have hidden him and do something for him to escape. A man of simple honesty and not having access to any other source of information, he relied only on the radio broadcast of the South Korean government. We would never have allowed his abduction had we been in Seoul.
He was never a procommunist. His speeches told that he did not respect Seung-man Rhee personally but he was a firm anticommunist. That is why they let go the chances of crossing the Han River Bridge for refuge in the south, trusting the government, the country and the President. To those who could leave Seoul but did not do so, and were abducted, we can have some doubts of choosing to go north on their own.
How can those who were like “mice in a pot” and taken north be branded communists? Destruction of the bridge was done not by God or underground activists but by our own government. Those shifting guys who should have been held responsible for untimely explosion of the Han River Bridge and blocking the passage became patriots, instead.
Those honest but naive patriots, who never doubted the state and its President, were entrapped in Seoul, living the lives of prisoners for the past half a century enduring the punishment of poverty and dishonor for no wrongdoing.


News after the Abduction

Q. Was there any news since he was abudcted?

There has been no information except the one from a Mr. Cho in Sangju, who sent south as an espionage and self-surrendered in the late 1950s. We should have been given a chance to talk with him in person. Only a hearsay that “I saw your father at a coop farm. Probably he died.”
When I grew up, graduated from a university and became a mature member of the society, I wished my father would come home and knock at the door, although that might turn me into a Communist espionage. Would he knock... No knocking probably means he is no longer alive. Since my childhood, it has been in my mind that he died. If he were alive, the North Korean regime would certainly have used him.

Q: Is it true that his tombstone has been found recently?

I read a Dong-a Daily article of July 27, regarding 62 tombs in PyeongYang. Upon which I contacted with the reporter, who introduced to me a reporter with Minjok21 from whom I acquired the picture. I found my father’s tombstone at the end of the tombs without his picture. For others, there were more descriptions like dates of birth, but in my father’s case, only his name “PAK Sung-woo” and “Died on Feb. 4, 1954,” underneath. But a sheet of paper, I shed many tears over the photograph.”
I, his son, not knowing whether or not he is still alive, confused by the two years of his death. The year he went to a coop farm was 1957, while the year inscribed on the tombstone had different one. On which day my family should pay tribute to him could not be decided. We, therefore, wrote a petition to the Minister of Unification. A reply came from, saying “We will make efforts. Deep sympathy is sent to you.” The reply was from a section chief, without knowledge to the minister. It was nothing. It only confused us further and disappointed us more. Although visiting his tomb and paying a tribute to him with a glass of wine and some flowers would not take our tears away, still we want to do so before we die.
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