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295 more S.Koreans confirmed abducted by N.Korea

The South Korean government has added 295 more people to its official list of abductees taken by North Korea during the 1950-53 Korean War, a special commission on the issue said Wednesday.

   During the 11th meeting of the commission on Korean War abductees, the government confirmed additional Koreans were kidnapped by the communist country, bringing the total number to 2,560.

   Notable South Koreans were placed on the list, such as Chung In-bo, a famous scholar of classical Korean studies; Kim Chun-ki, head of the country's Red Cross; and Park Young-don, a medical professor at Seoul National University, the commission under the Prime Minister's office said.

   The abductees range from politicians and public officials to soldiers and students. Farmers and fishermen account for the largest share at 43.4 percent, followed by businessmen at 12.5 percent, civil servants at 6.4 percent and students at 11.9 percent, according to the data.

   The commission, meanwhile, was established in 2010 to uncover the truth about abduction issues, help recover the reputations of the abductees' families and achieve national unity. Under law, the commission will continue to serve in its role until 2017.

   In the past, South Korea stigmatized people who were believed to have voluntarily fled North, with remaining family members subject to social discrimination.

   Seoul has repeatedly called on Pyongyang to free the abductees, but the communist neighbor denies holding any South Koreans against their will. (Yonhap News)


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