Tuesday, October 25, 2005

PoWs from Korean War still held after 52 years

By Richard Spencer in Beijing
(Filed: 26/10/2005)
North Korea admitted yesterday that it was still holding prisoners from the Korean War as well as South Koreans it had abducted since.
Ten PoWs are still in the North, 52 years after the war ended, the South Korean ministry of unification was told in response to inquiries about 103 missing people. Another 11 people who had been abducted were also being held.
Six PoWs and 10 abducted prisoners whose existence was previously unknown had died in captivity. The rest were unaccounted for, the ministry said.
Pyongyang said the 21 would be included in the next re-union for relatives separated by the peninsula's division, planned for next month.
The admission renews pressure on the North to explain its practice - carried out over decades - of seizing people it felt might be useful.
In 2002, it confirmed long-held suspicions that it had kidnapped Japanese citizens to train future spies. Many of the South Korean victims were fishermen - their boats seized by the North's navy.

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