Chan-wook Hwang Interview

“MY ABDUCTED FATHER, IF ONLY I COULD SEE YOU IN MY DREAM…”

October 6, 2017: During holidays or birthdays, the people you miss the most are your families. Today, I share the story of Hwang Chan-wook, whose father was abducted by North Korea during the Korean Air hijacking of 1969. To this day, she yearns to see her father again.

Hwang Chan-wook’s father was a TV producer working for South Korea’s Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC). Continue reading “Chan-wook Hwang Interview”

NGOs Keep Stories of Abductees Alive

September 4, 2017: “The third and last speaker was Hwang In Cheol, representing the KAL Abductees’ Repatriation Committee (KALARC). Mr. Cheol discussed his ongoing fifteen-year effort to repatriate his father, who was abducted when his Korean Air flight was hijacked and rerouted to North Korea by a North Korean agent in 1969. The flight, originally bound for Gimpo Airport, carried fifty-one people, consisting of four crew members and forty-seven passengers including the hijacker and Mr. Hwang’s father, an MBC producer. Mr. Hwang was just two years old at the time.” Continue reading at Daily NK News.

Stories From The North 3: Mr Hwang’s Speech

August 5, 2017: Teach North Korean Refugees (TNKR) and Seoul University of Foreign Studies (SUFS) co-hosted the third “Stories From The North” forum. The event featured several speakers, including two North Korean refugees who have studied with TNKR since 2015 and Hwang In-cheol, TNKR’s Fellow in Human Dignity. Here is Mr Hwang’s speech:

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”

Son of KAL Hijacking Victim Advocates Tirelessly for Father’s Return

February 14, 2017: Today, we’re going to speak with Hwang In Cheol, whose father was kidnapped during the 1969 North Korean hijacking of Korean Airlines Flight YS-11. Thanks for coming in today. Can you start by telling us some basic information about the incident that separated you from your father?

“I was only two years old at the time. The domestic flight departed from Gangneung Airbase and was heading towards Gimpo Airport on December 11, 1969. It took off at 12:25 pm. Only 10 minutes after takeoff, a North Korean spy named Jo Chang Hui forcibly took control of the aircraft. The plane was rerouted to North Korea, and escorted by North Korean fighter planes….” Continue reading at Daily NK.

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”

Torn Apart: The Human Rights Dimension of the Involuntary Separation of Korea Families

December 7, 2016: A new report, published today by the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR), documents the experiences of families who have been separated since the 1950-1953 Korean War through displacement, forced disappearance and abductions, and as a result of those fleeing the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The KAL hijacking and Mr. Hwang’s efforts to ensure the crime is not forgotten are mentioned on page 19, paragraph 49:

The story of Mr. Hwang In-chul, whose father was abducted in 1969, along with 50 other passengers and crew members of a Korean Air flight, remains among the best-known cases of proven post-war abductions by the authorities of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Whereas 39 victims were returned to the Republic of Korea in 1970, all others remained disappeared, including Mr. Hwang’s father, a medical doctor, media technicians and four crew members.

According to witnesses, Mr. Hwang’s father, a journalist, had strongly resisted his abductors while being “re-educated” to embrace North Korean ideology, which may explain why he was not returned. A sequence of worldwide plane hijackings in the following months motivated a resolution by the Security Council “appeal[ing] to all parties concerned for the immediate release of all passengers and crews without exception.” Mr. Hwang stated that the incident was particularly traumatic for his family and his upbringing because “even if you are a victim, society looks down on you and you are considered a spy.”

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