|▲The Association for Family Members of the KAL Kidnapping Victims held the ceremony today at Wonju City Hall in Gangwon Province (© KAL Kidnapping Victims Association)|
The Association for Family Members of the KAL Kidnapping Victims held a ceremony today to mark Parent’s Day in South Korea, placing a traditional carnation before pictures of the kidnapping victims.
The group’s chairman, Hwang In Cheol, whose father was one of those kidnapped, told Daily NK, “I wanted to give a carnation to my father to ‘thank him for everything’. This is the first time we have conducted this event on Parents Day.”
He emphasized, “It is extremely painful that we have been unable to confirm whether they are alive or dead for 43 years. We will continue our movement to verify whether the abducted KAL are alive or dead and if they are we will ask for them to be repatriated.”
The Association for Family Members of the KAL Kidnapping Victims started a signing campaign in Gangreung in Gangwon Province last month alongside a photo exhibition. It is now in Wonju City Hall, where today’s event took place and where it will remain until this Friday.
▲ On December 11th, 1969, a captain, four crew members and 47 passengers left Gangreung for Seoul Gimpo on a Korean Air NAMC YS-11. However, it was then hijacked by a North Korean spy and taken to Wonsan in the North. North Korea promised to repatriate all the passengers but two months later only 38 actually came back. 7 passengers, including Hwang’s father and the 4 crew members remain in the North. The mother of one of the flight attendants was able to meet her daughter as part of separated family reunions early in the 2000s.