Can Seoul Make Play for Detainees in NK?

October 3, 2011: Calls are growing for the government to step up efforts to rescue South Koreans detained in North Korea, including a 69-year-old woman stranded for decades after being lured there with her husband. But given North Korea’s dismal track record on human rights, does it stand any chance of securing their return?


The question is being voiced by a grassroots campaign over the plight of the woman, Shin Sook-ja, and her two daughters who have been detained since 1985. Her husband, a retired economist, escaped after North Korean authorities sent him to Germany to entice more South Koreans to the Stalinist state. …

The U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea says Pyongyang has kidnapped over 180,000 citizens of 12 nations, including the South. Continue reading at The Korea Times.

Son Longs for Father Hijacked to the North in 1969

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.

Families of NK Abductees Call for Help

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.

KT 2011

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


Time to Step Up in Kidnapping Cases

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.

NK Spurns Letter by South Korean Wanting Father’s Return

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.