Discussion of POWs and Abductees with Chinese VP

In meetings in Seoul on Thursday, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping spoke candidly about taking a humanitarian approach to Korean War POW and abduction issues.

Vice President Xi explained in his meeting with South Korean Prime Minister Chung Un Chan, “China is solving these problems from a humanitarian perspective according to domestic and international laws.”

In advance of Xi’s remarks, Prime Minister Chung asked him, “Since POWs’ and abductees’ families are originally South Korean people; I hope that China is taking into consideration confirming where they are from and their repatriation to South Korea.”

Vice President Xi replied, “I will pay particular attention to what the Prime Minister expressed.”

Although the Chinese government has generally cooperated tacitly with sending POWs, abductees and their families to South Korea, one POW, Chung, has been in Chinese police detention for the last four months.

With respect to the North Korean nuclear issue, Prime Minister Chung agreed “that China has made an effort to denuclearize North Korea and resume the Six-Party Talks,” but asked the Chinese to take a more active role as the chair country in order to convene the Six-Party Talks quickly, upon the opportunity presented by recent U.S.-North Korea dialogue.

Vice President Xi expressed his agreement with the need to resume the Six-Party Talks in order to bring about North Korea’s denuclearization, and said China would make an effort together with the other countries involved.