Tuesday, June 24, 2008

After 55 Years, POW Escapes North Korea

The poor man is now 78 years old.
A SOUTH Korean prisoner of war has escaped North Korea after 55 years and is waiting in a third country to return to his homeland, an activist said today.

The 78-year-old man was in a South Korean consulate after fleeing the communist state on June 14, Choi Sung-Yong, who arranged the rescue, said.

The man was captured by North Korean troops in 1953 after suffering a gunshot wound to the knee.

"He had worked as a coal miner in North Hamgyong province. He fled alone through China, leaving his wife and children at his home," Mr Choi said.

"He is sick and being attended by South Korean officials," said the South Korean activist, who has arranged at least 10 previous escapes.

Mr Choi did not elaborate on the PoW's rescue, which involved arranging border crossings. If caught in China, refugees from North Korea face repatriation and harsh punishment - possibly even a death sentence.

By official count 485 South Koreans, mostly fishermen, were seized in the Cold War decades following the 1950-53 Korean conflict. More than 500 prisoners of war were never sent home in 1953.
I wonder if cranky moonbat Gore Vidal will question whether he really was a POW?

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