Korean hostages

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US Citizen Held Prisoner in North Korea: Report

Activist says Kenneth Bae detained while leading tour into the country

(Newser) - North Korea has been holding a 44-year-old American citizen prisoner for about a month, a human rights activist in South Korea alleged today. Kenneth Bae was reportedly detained while leading a tour group into the People's Republic, something he'd done several times before without a problem, activist Do... More »

20 Dead as Taliban Hotel Takeover Ends

At least 20 dead as militants are killed

(Newser) - The takeover of a hotel near Kabul by heavily armed Taliban gunmen has ended. Kabul police and other Afghan security forces backed by US-led NATO troops stormed the Spozhmai Hotel in the Lake Qargha area, freeing the remaining 45 civilian hostages. At least 20 people were killed in the operation,... More »

Taliban: Korea Paid $4M Ransom

Commander says Seoul paid millions to release hostages

(Newser) - The Taliban released 21 South Korean hostages five months ago only after Seoul paid at least $4 million in ransom, a senior insurgent commander now claims. Contrary to South Korea's official denial to Newsweek that money changed hands, the commander said freeing the missionaries without recompense "would not have... More »

Taliban Told Hostages to Convert or Die

Freed Koreans describe harrowing 6-week Afghanistan ordeal

(Newser) - South Korean aid workers held captive by Taliban militants in Afghanistan recounted being urged at gunpoint to convert to Islam during at a news conference in Seoul today, the BBC reports. They were often beaten and forced to work "like slaves" during a six-week ordeal, which ended last month... More »

Korean Hostages Back Home

They're sorry for 'causing trouble'

(Newser) - Nineteen relieved Christian aid workers returned home to South Korea yesterday after Taliban kidnapers released them from six weeks of captivity. They sank into the grateful arms of family and apologized to the public for "causing trouble." Korean officials had warned the church group not to travel to... More »

Koreans Talk About Ordeal

(Newser) - "All I could think about was staying alive," said one of the South Korean aid workers released from captivity in Afghanistan yesterday. “Now that the tension is gone my body aches all over.” The group reunited in a Kabul hotel today and spoke to the South... More »

Final Korean Hostages Walk Free

Christian aid workers out of Taliban hands after 6 weeks

(Newser) - Taliban militants in Afghanistan freed the remaining seven South Korean hostages today, CNN reports, ending an episode that began July 19 with the abduction of 23 Christian aid workers. After two were executed, the remaining hostages were gradually released as the South Korean government negotiated with the captors, promising to... More »

Taliban Frees 4 More Captives

Last Koreans also scheduled for release

(Newser) - Taliban militants released four of their remaining seven South Korean hostages today. The two men and two women were released to Red Cross officials on a road in central Afghanistan, the AP reports. The Red Cross is on its way to pick up the three remaining hostages from the original... More »

8 Korean Hostages Freed

Taliban freeing prisoners after reaching a deal with South Korea

(Newser) - The Taliban released eight hostages today, a day after reaching a deal with the South Korean government. Three who were released earlier this morning were brought to the town of Ghazni by tribal elders—acting as mediators—then handed over to the Red Cross. South Korea has agreed to pull... More »

Deal Reached on Hostages

Taliban, Seoul agree on terms, including withdrawal of troops

(Newser) - Talks between the Taliban and the South Korean government have resulted in the outline of a deal to release the remaining 19 hostages held in Afghanistan for over a month. The agreement involves withdrawal of Korea's 200 noncombat troops and an end to missionary activity, CNN reports, but not payment... More »

Police Raid Frees Kabul Hostage

Kidnappers call themselves 'a special network,' police say they are not Taliban

(Newser) - Afghan police stormed a secret location in Kabul today and freed a German aid worker held by kidnappers this weekend, CNN reports. Her abductors had circulated a video of her asking for the release of unknown prisoners and pleading for her own freedom. The captors said only that they are... More »

Korean Hostage Talks Fail

Taliban says demands not met; group is considering the fate of 19 captives

(Newser) - As the 19 remaining Korean hostages await news of their fate, negotiations to secure their release have failed, according to a Taliban spokesman. The terror group says its principal demand—the liberation of insurgents being held by coalition forces—was not met; South Korean officials have insisted Seoul has no... More »

Mission Church Does Some Seoul Searching

Hostage crisis has Korean Christians pondering direction

(Newser) - As 19 South Korean aid workers wallow in a Taliban prison camp, many in the world community are openly wondering why they were in Afghanistan in the first place. Even as they pray for the release of their fellow parishioners, members of a suburban Seoul church are dodging critics who... More »

Taliban Frees 2 South Korean Hostages

Women in Red Cross custody after roadside hand-over

(Newser) - The Taliban freed two of the South Korean hostages abducted in Afghanistan today, releasing them to the Red Cross in Ghazni province, the Telegraph reports. A BBC reporter saw the two women, who were reported to be in "fair" health and were released after talks with South Korean negotiators.... More »

Taliban to Free 2 Hostages

Militant group will release sick women from captivity, report says

(Newser) - The Taliban will release two South Korean hostages who have become sick after nearly a month of captivity in Afghanistan. The announcement came during talks between the militant group and South Korean emissaries, but hasn't been confirmed by international groups monitoring the situation. More »

South Korea Begins Taliban Hostage Talks

Hostages said to be safe while negotiations continue

(Newser) - A South Korean team began face-to-face negotiations with the Taliban today, hoping to secure the lives of 21 Korean aid workers abducted last month. The meeting is taking place in an Afghan government-controlled zone where the Taliban has been guaranteed temporary safe passage. Seoul has already cautioned that it doesn't... More »

Hostage: We Don't Want to Die

Medicines delivered to South Korean captives

(Newser) - Afghan doctors yesterday delivered medicines to 21 South Korean hostages held by Taliban rebels as one of the captives pleaded for their lives in an emotional radio interview. "We are all sick and weak," a nurse told Voice of America, pleading with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to... More »

Seoul to Taliban: Our Hands Are Tied

Frustrated South Korean govt. lacks authority to satisfy kidnappers' demands

(Newser) - South Korean officials on a desperate mission to Afghanistan are attempting to impress upon the Taliban that they cannot single-handedly meet the organization's demands. The delegation has been in contact with the kidnappers in an efforts to negotiate the release of 21 South Korean hostages, Reuters reports, but it can't... More »

Seoul Seeks Direct Talks With Taliban

South Korean delegation heads to DC to seek help in hostage crisis

(Newser) - South Korean delegates arrived in Afghanistan today to press for an end to the 2-week hostage crisis that has left two dead, Reuters reports. Seoul has asked for direct talks with the Taliban, which continues to hold 21 church workers, most of them women. But South Korea is powerless to... More »

Body of Second Korean Hostage Found

More will die unless prisoners are freed, kidnappers warn

(Newser) - Afghan police have found the body of a second Korean hostage killed by the Taliban, Reuters reports. The man was shot in the head, and his body found in a clover field close to the spot where 23 Korean missionaries were kidnapped last week. The kidnappers have threatened to kill... More »

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