February 14, 2012: Hwang In-cheol was only 26 months old when his father got on a plane for a business trip to Seoul on Dec. 11, 1969.
The son hasn’t seen his father since his plane was hijacked by a North Korean spy soon after takeoff from Gangneung, a South Korean eastern city near the border with North Korea. The YS-11 with the hijacker and 46 other South Korean passengers plus four crew members landed in North Korea.
After diplomatic efforts, the North allowed 39 passengers to return home through the heavily fortified border between the two Koreas on Feb. 14, 1970. However, the North held Hwang’s father, radio producer Hwang Won, six other passengers and four crew members. Continue reading at The Korea Times.
September 28, 2014: On Dec. 11, 1969, a Korean Air Lines YS-11 aircraft flying from Gangneung, Gangwon, to Gimpo International Airport was hijacked by a North Korean spy at 12:36 p.m. and forced to fly to Pyongyang. The flight was carrying 46 South Korean passengers and four crew members, including Hwang Won, a 32-year-old producer for Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation, who was on a business trip.
Hwang left behind his wife, a three-month-old daughter and a two-year-old son. They haven’t seen or heard from him since. After 42 years, most Koreans have forgotten the hijacking and many young people have never heard about it at all. But Hwang’s son, Hwang In-cheol, 44, has never given up his search for the father he can’t even remember.
And he’s bitter about the scant assistance he’s received through the decades. Continue reading at Korea JoongAng Daily.
September 20, 2011: For most, the 1969 hijacking of a South Korean airliner by an armed North Korean agent has faded into history. But for Hwang In-chul, whose father was a passenger, the incident still takes a heavy toll.
Thirty-nine of the passengers on the KAL YS-11 were eventually repatriated through Red Cross channels, with Pyongyang claiming the pilots themselves had redirected the flight. But seven others along with four crew members were abducted and never returned. Continue reading at The Korea Times.
September 19, 2011: “In 1969, when I was 2 years old, my father on KAL flight YS-11 bound for Gimpo Airport was kidnapped and taken to North Korea. This led to my mother developing Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and Paranoid Personality Disorder, after which my mother and I became known as ‘the crazy lady and her son’.”
The president of Association for Family Members of the KAL Kidnapping Victims, Hwang In Cheol told the story of the painful childhood he experienced at a forum hosted today by Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights entitled ‘Trends and Strategies to Internationalize the Issue of Civilian Kidnappings’….
Professor Park stated, “We need to shake off this passive mentality in which we include kidnapping victims within the scope of separated families, and (merely) promote the inclusion of these people in organized family reunions where all they can do is check that their family members are still alive.” Continue reading at Daily NK.
March 30, 2011: North Korea refused Wednesday to accept a letter by a South Korean man demanding the return of his father who was aboard an airplane hijacked by the communist state in 1969, an official said.
Earlier this month, Hwang In-cheol, a 44-year-old local publisher, wrote a letter to the North Korean regime and asked the South Korean Unification Ministry to deliver it for him. Continue reading at The Korea Times.
July 5, 2010: Hwang In-cheol, a representative of the Families of KAL Passengers Abducted to North Korea, presented a petition to the UN on June 17 in order to find out whether his father Won Hwang detained in North Korea was still alive and could be repatriated. …
In 2001, Seong Kyeong-hee, one of the flight attendants, attended the second reunion of separated families during the Korean War. She told her mom that Yu Byeong-ha and Choi Seok-man were still alive. In addition, Seong told her family that she and Jeong Kyeong-suk, who was also a flight attendant, were living in the same town.
Nevertheless, the North Korean government claimed a few days later that Jeong’s fate was unknown. Thus, except for these three people, Seong, Yu, and Choi, it is not known whether the other abducted South Koreans are still alive. Continue reading at Open Radio for North Korea.
June 10, 2010: I hope my application serves as an opportunity to draw international attention to North Koreas kidnap victims. By filing the application, I want to know if my father is alive.
So said Hwang In-chul, 43, the founder and head of an association of South Korean families whose relatives were abducted by North Korea via a Korean Air flight in 1969. He submitted an application Wednesday to investigate the disappearance of his father, Hwang Won, with the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances under the U.N. Human Rights Council. Continue reading at The Dong-A Ilbo.
August 7, 2009: Around 6 P.M. (local time) on the 5th, a private Boeing plane arrived at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, just outside Los Angeles. Inside were two reporters, newly pardoned after being detained for 141 days in North Korea, and a former president of the United States. …
Hearing that former US President Bill Clinton urged the release of the South Korea detainees as well as the two Americans, Hwang noted, “This is something that the South Korean government should do. I hope that negotiations to repatriate the KAL abductees will follow the recent release of the reporters.”
Regardless, he lamented the lukewarm attitude of successive South Korean administrations, “For the last ten years, there has been no policy regarding repatriations. From the beginning, this hijacking should have been resolved as an abductees’ issue or from the perspective of protecting fellow countrymen, but this never happened.” Continue reading at Daily NK.
March 13, 2009: Yaeko Taguchis son Koichiro Iizuka, who met (former North Korean agent) Kim Hyon-hui, was separated from his mother when he was a year old. I lost my father when I was two.
Hwang In-cheol, 42, made this statement yesterday at an office for the families of the victims of the 1969 hijacking of a Korean Air flight by North Korea.
People have forgotten this incident and our government has paid no attention to us. The Japanese government has constantly raised North Koreas past kidnappings. Our government should learn from the Japanese government, he said. Continue reading at The Dong-A Ilbo.
December 11, 2008: A civic group Thursday urged the government to request that North Korea return abductees from an aircraft hijacked in 1969 in Gangneung, Gangwon Province. It has been 39 years since the tragedy, but there are still 11 people being held hostage, and the remaining families here called for public attention to the case, which has broken hundreds of people’s hearts. …
A group of the remaining families in the South called for the government to take more concrete steps for the return of the remaining abductees. “The news is now being forgotten among people and we are devastated that we may never see them again. We urge the government and our allies to ask the North to let us meet our beloved ones again.” Continue reading at The Korea Times.