X

After 41 Years, Kidnapped S. Korean Escapes North

Chun Wook-pyo was one of 25 fishermen captured in 1972
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 13, 2013 7:09 AM CDT

(Newser) – In 1972, more than two dozen South Korean fisherman were kidnapped by the North while sailing the Yellow Sea. Forty-one years later, Chun Wook-pyo, 68, has made it back home, South Korea today confirmed. He's "the only crewman from those two boats to have escaped," says a rep for the Seoul-based Abductees' Family Union, per the Daily Mail. And he's one of thousands of fishermen believed to have been taken by the North across decades, though Pyongyang denies it. Some 450 have never returned home, reports the New York Times.

story continues below

The escape, first reported last month, is rare; the Times reports that eight fisherman are previously said to have made it back since 2000. And the ordeal doesn't necessarily end upon reaching home: According to the Mail, South Korean officials are typically suspicious of escapees like Chun, fearing they could have been indoctrinated by the North and set free as a spy. They may also be concerned that the person claiming to be Chun could in fact be a North Korean agent. Chun was reportedly questioned for two weeks upon his arrival in the South before rejoining his family. While very few additional details were given, the rep tells Bloomberg that Chun worked as a truck driver in North Korea. (In other North Korea news, white steam has been spotted at a reactor there; what that means here.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
X