June 24 (UPI) — South Korea is disclosing the names of thousands of citizens who were abducted to the North during the 1950-53 Korean War, a first for the country in seven decades.
Seoul’s unification ministry said that will place on permanent exhibit a historical list of names drafted in December 1950 that includes citizens allegedly abducted to North Korea from June 25 to Sept. 28, 1950, News 1 and EDaily reported Thursday.
The document, officially known as the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s Victims List, includes the names of 4,616 South Koreans who were forcibly taken to the North from the city of Seoul, according to reports.
The names of prominent South Korean politicians and historians are on the list. Ahn Jae-hong, a Korean activist, politician and journalist who took part in the Korean independence movement during the colonial period, and Jo So-ang, a politician and educator, are on the record. Chin-t’ae Son, a historian, also was kidnapped according to the 1950 list, reports said.
Seoul said the list was a donation from the family of one of the victims. The document went on permanent exhibit at the National Memorial for Abductees during the Korean War in the city of Paju on Thursday.
“This list is an objective record of the scope of abductions and their toll,” the unification ministry said. “It is a record of high value.”
The document is divided into nine sections that representthe nine subdivisions of the city of Seoul during wartime, according to YTN.
The decades-old list was severely damaged and underwent restoration. The cover and back of the book were torn, Seoul said.
At the end of the war Seoul said in its official estimates close to 85,000 South Koreans were taken to the North during the conflict.
Hundreds are still believed to be in the North. In 1969, North Korean agents hijacked a Korean Air Lines flight, kidnapping crew and passengers.