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Kim Sun-Il’s Family Pleas for His Life

Posted June. 21, 2004 22:22,   


“Please let him go away alive”

Faced with the news of their son’s abduction in Iraq, Kim Jong-kyu, 69 years old, the father of Kim Sun-il, 33 years old, and stepmother Shin Young-ja, 59 years old, made a tearful plea to the Iraqi terror group on Kim’s life and said, “Please let my son go away alive. He’s led an innocent and nice life.”

As soon as they learned of the bombshell-like news on TV at about 7:00 a.m. in the city of Cheonahn where they visited their youngest daughter, Jeongsuk, 32 years old, to see their one-year-old grandson, the Kims returned home to Busan.

“In April when we last spoke with him over the home, he said he was safe because he was doing a translation job in the rearguard,” Shin said. “We have decided to give a party to celebrate my husband’s 70th birthday in July, two month ahead of his actual birthday, when Sun-il is scheduled to briefly return to Korea.”

The father’s eyes were all swelled probably because he cried over his son’s safety. “I hope the government negotiates his release as the Japanese did for their hostage,” he said. “I hope the entire nation regard Sun-il as its own son and pray for him”

“The government probably should send troops to Iraq, but my family wish it could retract the plans,” Kim said, commenting about the government, “Regardless of whether it send troops to Iraq or not, it should help my only son, my life, return home alive.”

When the couple arrived home in a taxi, they took a composing medication and calmed themselves down for 30 minutes at the advice of neighbors who were milling around their house. Once at home, they burst into tears at the picture of Sun-il taken at his college graduation,

Into afternoon, two married daughters, Hyangrim, the eldest, 44 years old, and Mi-jeong, the second eldest, came to the couple’s home. They held the father’s hand and said, “Don’t worry. He will come back alive.”

Reporters packed to the brim of Kim’s 15-square-meter home. The Kim couple eventually collapsed, further saddening those around them.

Pak Soon-sik, 59 years old, the district chief, said with a sigh, “We are all proud of Sun-il who earned his way to three college diplomas by himself despite his family’s poverty.”

Hyangrim, who has taken care of Sun-il since 1978 when their mother died, said, “I can’t believe this is happening to my brother, who is good and nice.”

“I should have given more attention to him,” Prof. Choi Jong-ho who taught Sun-il at the department of theology of Kyusung University “I will pray hard with my students for his safe return.”

Kim Se-young, Sun-il’s peer of the same age at the college who now teaches the theology department as a lecturer, said, “He is a man of faith. He is always leading a proactive life and attempting to accomplish something.” He added, “He is quiet and determined. I believe he will be safely released.”