U.N. requests N. Korea to release fate of 14 abductees including former KAL crew
SEOUL, July 19 (Yonhap) -- The United Nations has officially called on North Korea to release information on the fate of 14 people held captive in the reclusive country, including a South Korean plane crew kidnapped 47 years ago, a U.S.-based media outlet said Tuesday.
Radio Free Asia (RFA) said the U.N. Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) also requested the Pyongyang regime confirm whether the five North Korean defectors who were forcibly taken back to North from China and six people who were arrested in North Korea for their anti-state activities are still alive.
According to RFA, the U.N. group asked the North to provide information about the fate of two other South Koreans who were kidnapped during the 1950-53 Korean War.
The request comes as a South Korean politician said recently that North Korea is still holding more than 500 South Koreans abducted since the end of the Korean War in 1953, including 11 from a Korean Air Lines (KAL) passenger aircraft.
On Dec. 11, 1969, 50 South Korean passengers and crew members were abducted when their YS-11 domestic flight that departed Gangneung for Gimpo was diverted to North Korea. A North Korean spy, named Cho Chang-hee, hijacked the airplane and forced the captain to fly to Pyongyang.
With demands from international communities and South Korea, the North returned 39 passengers a year later through the cross-border village Panmunjom, minus seven passengers and four crewmembers.