SKorean abducted by NKorea escapes after 41 years

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - A South Korean man abducted by North Korea has escaped and returned home after 41 years, government officials and activists said Friday.

Jeon Wook-pyo, 68, was one of 25 crewmen on board two boats captured by North Korea in the Yellow Sea in 1972, according to Choi Sung-yung of the Abductees' Family Union. Jeon, who fled North Korea in early August, is the only one of the crewmen to have escaped, Choi said.

Kim Hyung-suk, a spokesman with South Korea's Unification Ministry, which is responsible for inter-Korean affairs, confirmed to reporters in a briefing Friday that the man had safely returned to the South but provided no other details.

South Korea estimates that more than 500 South Koreans have been kidnapped and detained by North Korea since the 1950-1953 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving the Korean Peninsula still technically in a state of war.

Jeon underwent two weeks of investigation by government officials before being reunited with his family this month, Choi said.

North and South Korea have lately begun diplomatic talks after trading threats of war in March and April. They're set to reopen operations at a jointly run industrial park, located just north of the heavily armed border separating the two Koreas, and plan reunions this month of families divided by the Korean War.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Top Stories

  • Bad Idea
    The man behind a staged child abduction apologizes for scaring young kids, parents

  • Oso Clean
    An army of volunteers is making sure mudslide searchers get to put on warm, dry clothes

  • Vacation Time
    Two airlines are battling for your business and you're the winner
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know a student who stands out in the classroom, school and community?
Help make their dreams come true by nominating them for a $1,000 scholarship and a chance to earn a $10,000 Grand Prize. Brought to you by KIRO Radio and Comprehensive Wealth Management.

Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.