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S. Korea sends chartered planes to evacuate Afghanistans

S. Korea sends chartered planes to evacuate Afghanistans

Posted August. 26, 2021 07:24,   

Updated August. 26, 2021 07:24


“When I was about to enter the airport in the morning, the Taliban stopped me,” said an Afghan man, who decided to escape the country and relocate to South Korea, recalling the morning of his departure. “I was able to get into another car and enter the airport through another distant gate,” the man described his dangerous journey into the airport.

During an interview with the South Korean government at the Kabul Airport the previous day, the man explained the reason for his decision to head to Korea, saying he felt threatened as the Taliban could harm those who worked for a foreign government agency. But his face darkened for a while when he said his family including his mother is still in Afghanistan.

A woman, who worked for the South Korean Embassy in Afghanistan for two years and four months, was fortunately able to get to the airport without passing Taliban checkpoints. “We left home early in the morning (on the day of my departure),” said the woman, who came to the airport with her husband and two sons. She let out a sigh of relief, saying she did not pass through Taliban checkpoints by not taking a major road or a highway. Leaving her country, however, was a big decision to make. “It was not an easy decision but I had to,” she said, adding it was a necessary choice to save her own and her family’s lives. She said it was about a month ago when the South Korean Embassy asked if she wanted to escape the country and head to South Korea. She left her home located near Kabul about a week ago from her departure and stayed in the capital, receiving information about the local situation every day and escape plans from the Korean Embassy.

Lastly, another Afghan man, who also worked for the Korean Embassy, repeatedly stressed that the situation in the country was not very good. “The Taliban are trying to find out who worked for Korea,” said the man. “This is a dangerous situation for me and my family,” the man explained why he decided to head to South Korea.

The Afghans, who got a chance to flee to South Korea thanks to their work experience with Korean agencies, said they really wanted to thank Koreans for the opportunity.

Jin-Woo Shin niceshin@donga.com