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No Evidence to Confirm the Kidnapping of Koreans

Posted January. 10, 2005 22:27,   


On Monday, the South Korean government said that thus far, there is no evidence or information to confirm the abduction of two Korean nationals in Iraq.

“We have contacted every possible channel, such as the Iraqi government, the multinational forces, the Kurdish self-government, the U.S., Kuwait, and news medias like Al Jazeera and Al-Arabi, but have found nothing to confirm the claim,” said Lee Kyu-hyung, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman, in a press briefing.

The spokesman added that the government has been checking the entry records to find out if any Korean nationals entered Iraq via neighboring countries but found no sign of them, either.

When questioned about the speculation by some press that the alleged abductees might be female, the spokesman replied that since the Arabic word meaning “hostage’’ is itself a feminine noun, so far it is hard to tell not only whether the kidnapping has actually happened, but whether those kidnapped are male or female.

Prior to this, the government held an urgent meeting for the countermeasures which the National Security Council (NSC) administration presided this morning with concerned personnel from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Ministry of Defense and the National Intelligence Service.

Hyong-gwon Pu bookum90@donga.com