Saturday, April 15, 2006

Forgotten Korean agents in a clandestine war

Choe Sang-Hun writes in the International Herald Tribune of South Korea’s “dilemma left over from a war ceased but never put to rest.”

South Korean recruited and sent agents into North Korea for decades after the 1953 truce between the two countries. “For the two Koreas, acknowledging their agents' missions is tantamount to an admission of armistice violations.”

“Legislators, citing Defense Ministry data, have said that South Korea trained 13,000 armed agents between the beginning of the Korean War and 1994, and that 8,000 of them did not return from their missions. Since last year, 5,700 former agents or relatives have come forward.”

That’s roughly 2300 South Koreans unaccounted for --and possibly still detained in North Korea.

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