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Kim Sun-il Appears to Be Fine

Posted June. 22, 2004 22:15,   


It is known that the government, on June 22 when the deadline set by the Iraqi armed militants was due, failed to obtain any reliable information by the afternoon regarding whether or not 34-year-old hostage, Kim Sun-il, is still alive even though the government tried all possible negotiation means to free Kim.

Foreign Minister Bahn Ki-moon has advanced his schedule by a day due to his participation in the Asia Cooperative Discussion (ACD) for foreign ministers, which is being held at Ching Dao, China, returning in the afternoon of this day; he personally appeared on Al Jazeera television, appealing for Kim’s liberation.

In advance of this, the countermeasure team in Iraq, which is led by the head ambassador of the Foreign Ministry, Jang Jae-ryong as the chief, arrived in Jordan in the morning of this day and started their negotiation for Kim’s liberation.

At the lunch table, President Roh Moo-hyun, having a meal with the presidential aide for National Security, Kwon Jin-ho, and the chief of Policy Coordination Department of the National Security Council (NSC), was briefed over the abduction case of Kim Sun-il and said, “Please try your best thoroughly and prudently,” passed on the deputy spokesperson of Cheong Wa Dae, Kim Jong-min. However, Kim disclosed, “I know that there hasn’t been any confirmative report as to whether or not Kim Sun-il is alive.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Choi Young-jin and the major executive members of NSC checked on the negotiation situation for Kim’s liberation by holding several countermeasure meetings on this day and keeping an all-night vigilance last night at their offices. The Korean Ambassador to the United Nations, Kim Sam-hoon, has disclosed that the United Nations’ Secretary General Kofi Anan promised him cooperation for the liberation of Kim Sun-il.

On the other hand, Choi Seung-kap, the president of a Korean escort service provider, NKTS, which has made inroads into Iraq, disclosed, “One of my trade associates, Mohamed Al Obeidee, has sent a message that he expects a positive development in the progress of the incident by saying ‘I have contacted with two members of the militants, and they agreed to negotiate without killing Kim’.”

Choi stated that Mr. Obeidee, in a telephone conversation with NKTS at around 1 a.m. on this day, said, “Today I met the kidnappers again, and I am negotiating the conditions of Kim’s liberation. Kim has been confirmed to be safe so far, and the exact location of Kim cannot be exposed because of his personal safety.” It has not been confirmed yet what the armed militants are demanding.

As to this, Shin Bong-kil, the spokesman of the Foreign Ministry, refused to confirm it, saying, “That company has told the consulate that they’re doing these works (negotiation for liberation), but we cannot officially verify it at this stage as a governmental agency.”