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At Least Another Three POWs Escaped From North Korea

Posted December. 28, 2003 23:05,   


It has become known that, aside from Jeon Yong-il, 72, who returned recently to South Korea, there are at least another three prisoners of war (POWs) who escaped from North Korea.

According to the Defense Ministry, support groups for North Korean escapees and their families supplied personal information of some individuals to the Defense Ministry and asked for confirmation as to whether or not they were POWs. In response, the Defense Ministry announced that it had found the names of three people -- one of them identified by his family name Ha, 70 -- on the list of war dead.

A ministry official said, “We cannot confirm anything about them such as whether they are alive or stayed in China after escaping from North Korea.”

The government is currently investigating their locations through civic groups and a local representative office in China. The ministry officials said, “The ambassador to China will initiate moves and make an effort to gather information and promote the repatriation of POWs who escaped from North Korea.”

At the December 10 POW management committee meeting chaired by vice Defense Minister Yu Bu-sun, the discussion focused on how to find the locations of POWs who escaped from North Korea and how to proceed in their repatriation to South Korea.

Ho-Won ChoiHo-Won Choi bestiger@donga.com