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P.O.W in His Seventies Captured in China after Fleeing North Korea

P.O.W in His Seventies Captured in China after Fleeing North Korea

Posted May. 26, 2004 22:07,   


It was confirmed on May 26 that a prisoner of war, Shin (75), escaped North Korea early this month only to be captured by the Chinese police and has been detained for a third week in a prison in China.

An official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade announced this day that, “We are in discussion with China concerning the handling of Shin, and it is expected that he will soon return to Seoul as China sufficiently understands Korean’s keen interest towards a prisoner of war.”

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as an organization related to North Korean escapees, Shin, who is from the Yonggwang County of South Cholla Province, joined the army in 1946 and was kidnapped by North Korea while serving as a sergeant at his military post of Division 8, Regiment 21 during the Korean War.

Immediately after his escape from North Korea, Shin met with his brother and cousin at Yenji, Jilin Province whom he indirectly communicated with before his escape, but was discovered by the Chinese police within several days. Afterwards, Shin was detained at Tumen Prison in Jilin Province, a border jail for North Korean defectors to be sent back to North Korea, while his brother and cousin returned to South Korea.

So far, there have been a total of 35 prisoners of war who were returned alive by fleeing North Korea or through the repatriation decision of North Korea. On the other hand, concerning the reports of another North Korean escapee, Choi (33 Pohang, North Kyungsang Province), who appealed to release three of his family members including his foster daughter, Park (12), on May 26, captured in Yenji on May 9 after fleeing North Korea and detained in Tumen Prison, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported to “have not confirmed this case.”

Seung-Ryun Kim srkim@donga.com