NK Refugees to Share Their Stories at Joint Panel Event

July 27, 2016: North Korean refugees will share their stories at a panel event with scholars, activists and volunteers. The mini-conference, hosted by Teach North Korean Refugees and Seoul University of Foreign Studies, will feature two panels…

The refugee speakers will include North Korean-American Cherie Yang and Hwang In-Cheol, the son of a man who was on the 1969 airplane hijacked by a North Korean agent. Lartigue said he was telling his story to help efforts to get his father freed. Continue reading at The Korea Herald.

UN Requests NK to Release Fate of 14 Abductees Including Former KAL Crew

July 19, 2016: 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. …

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. Continue reading at Yonhap News.

After 43 Years Trapped in NK, A Survivor Fights Back

July 5, 2016: Kawasaki Aiko is currently the head of an NGO that helps defectors in their attempt to set up their new lives in Japan. She is also behind a major international effort to conduct an investigation to discover the truth behind the repatriations.

Kawasaki Aiko is extremely busy these days, preoccupied with the task of bringing these issues to the public’s attention. In the process, she has become a nuisance to the North Korean authorities, Chongryon (the pro-Pyongyang federation of Korean residents in Japan), and the Japanese government. That’s because she insists that the repatriations are not some piece of forgotten history that can be easily swept under the rug, but a collection of human rights infractions that continue to this day. Continue reading at Daily NK. 

Son Crusades to Meet Father Hijacked to NK

July 4, 2016: When Hwang In-cheol was 2 years old, his father disappeared. … It wasn’t until Hwang was in the third grade that his father’s brother decided he should know the truth.

Hwang Won was a 32-year-old producer for Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) based in Gangwon. On Dec. 11, 1969, he boarded a Korean Air flight from Gangneung, Gangwon, for Gimpo International Airport in Seoul to attend an MBC internal meeting. A senior colleague who was supposed to attend was busy. He ordered Hwang to fill in for him. Continue reading at The Korea JoongAng Daily.

Letter to the UN Secretary-General by Mr Hwang & Petition

Please sign the accompanying petition in English, KoreanFrenchGerman, SpanishPortuguese, Arabic, or Chinese.

Dear Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon:

My name is In-cheol Hwang, and I represent the Families of the KAL Passengers Abducted by North Korea. As I am writing you this letter with a heart anguished beyond repair, I am still desperately longing to see my father. Continue reading “Letter to the UN Secretary-General by Mr Hwang & Petition”

From Hwang Solo to Team Hwang

June 28, 2016: On December 11, 1969, a North Korean agent hijacked domestic flight Korean Air NAMC YS-11 from Gangwon to Gimpo just 10 minutes after take-off at 12:25 pm. All 50 people on board (46 passengers and 4 crew members) were abducted by North Korea.

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The North Korean government eventually released 39 people, but held the other 11. One of those kidnapped is Hwang Won, then a producer with MBC. For about 15 years, his son, Hwang In-Cheol, has been asking the North Korean regime to return his father, doing a balancing act of raising awareness and pressure, without unnecessarily provoking the regime, and keeping it a non-political purely humanitarian effort. Continue reading at The Korea Times.

A Son’s Plea From Imjingak: Please Return My Kidnapped Father

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On June 17, Hwang In Cheol (47), president of the 1969 KAL Kidnapping Victims’ Family Association, appealed for the return of his kidnapped father, Hwang Won (a 32-year-old producer at MBC at the time of kidnapping), at Imjingak’s Bridge of Freedom in Paju, Gyeonggi Province. Hwang, his family, and approximately 10 members of the North Korean defectors support group Teach North Korean Refugees (TNKR) met the same day to support the return of those kidnapped to North Korea.  Continue reading at The Daily NK.

Son Calls for NK to Return Abducted Father

June 17, 2016: Hwang In-cheol holds up a sign saying “North Korea…Be Free My Father” at an event to send a letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in the border city Paju, north of Seoul, on June 17, 2016. His father Hwang Won has been in captivity since December 1969, when a South Korean plane carrying Hwang, a radio producer, and 50 other crew members and passengers was hijacked by a North Korean agent on its way from the eastern South Korean city of Gangneung to Seoul.

Yonhap Picture of the day

Human Rights Council: Protect North Koreans

September 18, 2015: … The side event will be at 4 p.m. in room XXI, Palais des Nations, with Michael Kirby; Marzuki Darusman, the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in North Korea; and Fisher, along with seven persons directly affected by North Korea’s abductions and rights abuses, including Choi Sung Yong; Kim Dong-nam; Banjong Panjoy, the nephew of Thai abductee Anocha Panjoy; Takuya Yokota, the brother of Japanese abductee Megumi Yokota; Eiko Kawasaki, an ethnic Korean Japanese who escaped North Korea; Hwang In-cheol, whose son was abducted after North Korea hijacked Korea Air flight YS-11 and diverted it to Pyongyang; and Tomoharu Ebihara, chair of the Association for the Rescue of North Korea Abductees.

A 2014 report by the UN Commission of Inquiry found that since 1950, the North Korean government has systematically kidnapped nationals from China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Europe, and the Middle East. Pyongyang forced them to stay in North Korea, where the commission found that gross, pervasive, and systemic human rights abuses take place at a scale and gravity without parallel in the contemporary world including extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions, and other sexual violence. Continue reading at Human Rights Watch.