Go to contents

S. Korean POWs to be raised at 2nd inter-Korean defense talks

S. Korean POWs to be raised at 2nd inter-Korean defense talks

Posted April. 11, 2001 18:25,   


The government plans to raise the question of South Korean prisoners of war (POWs) at the second South-North Korean defense ministers talks. It is the first time that the Defense Ministry disclosed a plan to put the POWs issue on the agenda of the inter-Korean defense talks. Answering questions during an interpellation session of the National Assembly Tuesday, Defense Minister Kim Dong-Shin said that his ministry would promote the policy in consultation with the agencies concerned.

Minister Kim said that during the first defense ministers` talks last year, the Korean side underlined the importance of settling the POWs issue and asked Kim Il-Chol, minister of North Korean People`s Armed Forces, to convey the Seoul government`s position to the Pyongyang leadership. Noting that the government`s basic position was to resolve the POWs question under its responsibility, the ministry officials said that in this vein, the government decided to grant pension funds continuously to the families of war prisoners in the North who have been confirmed to be alive.

Meanwhile, the government plans to hold a meeting of the POW countermeasures committee this month and discuss this particular issue. The committee is composed of officials from related agencies, the Defense Ministry, the Unification Ministry, National Intelligence Service and the Patriots-Veterans Affairs Ministry.

Lee Chol-Hi klimt@donga.com