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Arab Captors Put Korean Hostage on TV

Posted March. 16, 2006 03:13,   


Korea Broadcasting System correspondent Yong Tae-young, kidnapped by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in the Gaza Strip on March 14, was confirmed to be safe and sound yesterday.

The Foreign Ministry said that Yong had made a number of phone calls to his wife in Dubai and the Korean Embassy to Israel early yesterday morning Korea time.

Yong appeared on local TV and said, “I am being held because of the worsening Israel- Palestinian relationship. I hope that the Korean government tries to produce good results.”

Regarding the abduction, a government official said, “The PFLP has few records of carrying out terrorist attacks like Al-Qaeda.”

Hazem Shabat, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry’s director-general for Asian affairs, said on cable channel YTN that afternoon, “The PFLP has no intention to afflict harm on hostages. They will all be released today (local time).”

Government officials discussed measures for Yong’s release in a counter-terror meeting presided by National Intelligence Service Director Kim Seung-gyu at the Foreign Ministry building in the presence of high ranking officials from Cheong Wa Dae, the National Police Agency, and the ministry.

The government also dispatched a taskforce led by Counselor-Ambassador for Overseas Koreans Jung Dal-ho to Gaza.

Head of the Representative Office of ROK in Palestine and Minister-Counselor Ma Young-sam in the Korean Embassy to Israel opened negotiations with Palestinian authorities around the Gaza Strip.

Jong-Koo Yoon jkmas@donga.com