Forum to Raise Awareness Of NK Refugee Issues

August 1, 2017: … Hwang In-cheol, a South Korean national, will discuss his 15-year effort to have his father, Hwang Won, released from North Korea. Hwang Won was an MBC producer who was abducted to North Korea when a North Korean agent hijacked a Korean Air airplane in 1969.

The junior Hwang is representative of KAL Abductees’ Repatriation Committee (KALARC) and TNKR’s fellow in human dignity. Continue reading at The Korea Times.

Otto Warmbier Got an Extra Dose of Brutality From North Korea. The Mystery Is Why.

June 14, 2017: The news about Mr. Warmbier deepened the anxiety among families of South Koreans and Japanese citizens held in the North. North Korea is accused of kidnapping more than 450 South Koreans, mostly fishermen, and 12 Japanese citizens in the decades after the Korean War.

“This sounded like a warning to us, signaling what might happen to our family members if we spoke out against human rights abuses in the North,” said Hwang In-cheol, whose father was on a South Korean airliner hijacked to the North in 1969.  Continue reading “Otto Warmbier Got an Extra Dose of Brutality From North Korea. The Mystery Is Why.”

National Human Rights Commission of Korea Accused of Ignoring Abductee Issue

May 15, 2017: “I have submitted a petition to the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) to locate my father who has been detained in North Korea for 48 years, but I received the following reply: ‘Your petition has been dismissed due to the highly political and diplomatic aspects of the case.’ If the Republic of Korea ignores the suffering of those whose family members were victims of the KAL hijacking incident, it is no better than a country that violates human rights.'” Continue reading at Daily NK.

New Call for Repatriation of KAL Abductees

I hereby appeal to your conscience. Help me bring my father home. Please sign the petition calling for the Repatriation of the 11 KAL hijacking abductees in one of the following languages: English, KoreanGerman, FrenchSpanish, Portuguese, or Italian.)

According to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft, anyone who hijacks a civilian aircraft should be extradited or prosecuted “without exception whatsoever” (Art. 7) and be punished by “severe penalties” (Art. 2). But my father’s case has become an “exception”. For 47 years, the world has overlooked a cruel act of criminal savagery that has torn my family apart. Continue reading “New Call for Repatriation of KAL Abductees”

Abductees Remain Casualties of Nuclear Stand-off with North Korea

February 8, 2017: In 1969, Hwang In-cheol’s father was among the 47 passengers and crew aboard a Korea Air (KAL) airliner that was hijacked into North Korea. Most were released under intense international pressure, but 11 of them, including Hwang’s father, who was a journalist and outspoken critic of the then Kim Il Sung regime, were not allowed to return nor permitted to communicate with their families.

Continue reading “Abductees Remain Casualties of Nuclear Stand-off with North Korea”

Families of Victims Abducted by North Korea Agents Gather at Bangkok Symposium

November 18, 2016: The International Coalition to Stop Crimes against Humanity in North Korea (ICNK) hosted an international symposium in Bangkok, Thailand, on November 17 at Kasetsart University’s political science department, supported by the Thai National Human Rights Commission. The family members of the victims of North Korean abductions in South Korea, Japan, and Thailand are set to get together at the event.

The symposium focused on the issue of North Korea’s actions and the response of the international community, covering the forcible disappearance of Japanese and Thai citizens, as well as abductions of South Koreans.

Abductions and forced disappearances by the North Korean state are also said to have been perpetrated against European and Southeast Asian citizens. However, due to complicating factors such as political ramifications and the safety of the victim’s families, the issue has not been widely publicized. Continue reading at Daily NK.

Loyal Son’s Lonely Crusade by Donald Kirk

September 1, 2016: Time slowly erases the traces of those held in North Korea. The longer they’re there, the easier it is to forget them. Their families, reluctant to invest more psychic energy on those for whom they know the North Koreans have no mercy, give up the quest.

As individuals move on, however, you wonder how or why bureaucrats in Seoul say nothing, do nothing. That’s a question Hwang In-cheol often ponders. He’s long since become accustomed to getting much the same response when he asks: Why can’t you please apply some pressure, do something, anything, to find out about my father?

Hwang’s father is Hwang Won, who’s been in North Korea ever since North Korean goons hijacked a Korean Air passenger plane on a domestic flight with 50 people on board in December 1969. Hwang was two at the time and has no memory of his father, a producer for MBC, but still has a black-and-white photo that shows him smiling as his father embraces him and a cousin. Alone among family members of the 11 whom North Korea never returned, Hwang refuses to accept indifferent shrugs and advice to let it go. Continue reading at Donald Kirk’s blog.