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S. Korean abducted by N. Korea escapes after 41 years

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 06:39 a.m. HST, Sep 14, 2013

SEOUL » 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.

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cojef wrote:
A rough road to hoe, after being absent for 41 years from family, friends and especially if married. Like how and where to look for a job. Probably too old to work???
on September 14,2013 | 07:07AM
cojef wrote:
OOps, sent for approval for unknown reasons. A diificult hardship is facing this individual after being captivity for 41 years. How do you reacquaint yourself into the current lifestyle that is entirely foreign to you. It sure is a long time, at least a generation ago.
on September 14,2013 | 07:12AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Well. Just how do you reacquaint yourself?
on September 14,2013 | 07:21AM
mitt_grund wrote:
Talk about never giving up! More power to him. Hope he still has family to return home to.
on September 14,2013 | 07:13AM
808warriorfan wrote:
on September 14,2013 | 07:45AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Give him a bowl of hot rice and kim chee.
on September 14,2013 | 07:19AM
mikethenovice wrote:
This proves that we humans can live without a smartphone.
on September 14,2013 | 07:20AM
Anonymous wrote:
I hope he's not a spy, and they let him "escape".
on September 14,2013 | 07:23AM
808warriorfan wrote:
Interesting thought; wouldn't put it pass North Kim Chee to do something like that
on September 14,2013 | 07:46AM
BO0o07 wrote:
My thoughts too. After 41 years, he could have been brainwashed to spy for the north. Nothing about how he escaped but it could be his escape is not being revealed because others may try the same escape route.
on September 14,2013 | 09:12AM
hunebasami wrote:
What can he tell them how life is better in the south then in the north.
on September 15,2013 | 05:48AM
808Nate wrote:
At 68 years old, I doubt he's a spy. He's more like a man who has the will to live to see his family again.
on September 14,2013 | 01:23PM
sailfish1 wrote:
Was he in a prison? If not, you'd think that he would have married and had a family in North Korea.
on September 14,2013 | 10:18PM
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