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Desirable Outcomes Needed for Aboductee Issue

Posted November. 02, 2004 01:25,   


South Korean Unification Minister Chung Dong-young on Monday revealed, “I will try to bring constructive results through in-depth discussions on South Korean abductees to North Korea at meetings between South and North Korean authorities such as the ministerial talks.”

At a talk held in the central government complex, the unification minister discussed the issue with representatives of organizations for South Korean abductees, including Choi Woo-yeong, the chairperson of Families of Abductees and Detainees. “Although the government has continually raised the issue of kidnap victims through a variety of channels such as ministerial and Red Cross meetings, it is regrettable that we have failed to meet the expectations of families of victims,” he said.

At a press conference following the meeting, Choi claimed, “The unification minister admitted the government’s wrongful conduct, saying, ‘The government had interrogated and tortured families of abductees and not allowed them to get government jobs.’ The government needs to realign its policies on this issue.”

Choi also pointed out, “Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi brought home Japanese nationals who had been kidnapped by North Korean authorities through a summit meeting with Kim Jong Il. I asked Mr. Chung to deal with the abductee issue through a summit talk.”

Choi Seong-yong, a representative of the family gathering of abductees, revealed, “I urged the minister to establish a subcommittee for abductees with coordination among six government agencies under the Office of the Prime Minister.”

The Democratized North Korea Forum, a human rights activist group, had its opening ceremony in Seoul on Monday and held an academic seminar focusing on “the meaning of the introduction of the North Korean Human Rights Act and Korea’s choice.”

Hong Kwan-hee, director of the Division of Peace Security of the Korea Institute for National Unification and who introduced a subject at the forum, said, “It is absurd that we have to stop helping abductees for the success of future talks between the two Koreas and peace on the Korean Peninsula, and the stabilization of the Kim Jong Il regime will help improve North Korean human rights.”