Feb. 20, 2009 - Discovery of a list
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Discovery of a list of 2,500 Korean War abductees classified by occupation
Korean Yearbook published in 1954 says 10,271 people defected to North Korea
Yonhap News, Feb. 20, 2009

Two documents have been disclosed for the first time: one shows a list of the Korean War abductees classified by occupation, and the other is a Korean Yearbook which states that the number of abductees is 10,271.

The Korean War Abductees’ Family Union (KWAFU) announced on the 20th that it found these two documents at the Korea Research Institute in Seodaemun. The list of the Korean War abductees classified by occupation was published in 1951 when the war was still being fought. The Korean Yearbook was published in 1954, and it includes the number of the abductees as well as the number of people who defected to North Korea. The numbers were tallied as of March 1952.

The list was published by KWAFA, whose main members were the wives of the abductees, on August 4, 1951 when it was taking refuge in Busan. It lists a total of 2,514 abductees by occupation:

High-ranking government officials: 328
Legal: 88
Educational: 113
Media: 79
Business: 391
Medical: 40
Finance: 209
Christian: 31
Military (including civilians): 119
Police and prison: 209
Local government: 83
Students: 120
Artists: 20
Members of Youth Organizations and Community Protective Units: 442
Unemployed: 95
Others: 129

The list also includes 18 people classified as “U.S. Embassy.”

KWAFU said that the list, which was marked “Confidential,” seemed to be used in the POW exchange negotiations between the UN and North Korea through people like John Muccio, U.S. Ambassador to Korea.

Lee Mi-il, President of KWAFU, said, “This list is the first to classify abductees by occupation. I found the name of my father, who was owner of a brassware factory, on the list, and a few other names were also confirmed by their families.”

She argued, “The fact that the names on the list are classified by occupation shows that North Korea selected people to abduct according to a carefully premeditated plan. It is a clear evidence of a war crime." The Korean Yearbook, published by Yeongnam Daily, gave the total number of Korean War abductees as 82,959 and the number of people who defected to North Korea as 10,271 as of late March 1952, and showed graphs for comparison.

She also said, “We had known the number of abductees, but the newly-found-document reveals for the first time the precise number of people who defected to North Korea, who had been included in the list of missing people. Abductees and defectors belong in separate categories as the Korean War was a war between two different ideologies, which made clear who was on our side and who was our enemy."

The number of defectors is the highest in Gyeonggi province and the lowest in North Jeolla province:

Gyeonggi: 4,401
Gangwon: 2,169
Seoul: 2,027
North Gyeongsang: 1,040
North Chungcheong: 465
South Chungcheong: 47
South Jeolla: 14
South Gyeongsang: 12
Jeju: 11
North Jeolla: 7
Undefined: 78

The total number of abductees is 82,959, as was already known, including 20,517 for Seoul and 15,958 for Gyeonggi province.

KWAFU continues to collect relevant data and documents and expects that the number of Korean War abductees will reach 100,000. It is going to hold an exhibition of photos of the recently discovered documents at the public hearing for the Act on Investigating Abductions by North Korea during the Korean War and Restoring Honor to the Victims, which will be held on the 27th at the National Assembly Members’ Office.

The names and occupations of the abductees on the list are as follows:

▲ High ranking and other government officials: Member of the1st National Assembly Heo Yeong-ho (50 years old at the time of abduction), Democratic National Party floor leader Baek Gwan-su (61), Public Information Bureau Deputy Head Kim Hyeong-won (50), Prime Minister’s secretary Lee Jeong-sun (42), Provincial governor Gu Ja-ok (60), National Assembly member Lee Seok (39)

▲ Legal: Judge Jeong Yun-hwan (34), Judge Sin Hyeon-uk (53), Lawyer Gang Yeong-cheol (52), Lawyer Kim Yong-chan (54), Prosecutor Kim Jin-su (47), High Court Judge Park Yong-seon (34)
▲ Educational: Former Vice Minister for Education and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences of Seoul National University Son Jin-tae (51), Section Chief of Academic Affairs of Seoul National University Kim Sang-ryeol (42), Professor Park Su-bok (37), Professor at Dankook University Jeong Jin-ok (39), Professor at Korea University Seok Dong-su (33), Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Seoul National University Lee Gi-hwan (25)

▲ Media: Novelist Lee Kwang-soo (58), President of Korea News Agency Lee Jung-hoi (47), President of Chosun Daily Bang Eung-mo (67), Chief Editor of Dong-A Daily Jang In-gap (45), City News Editor of Seoul Shinmun Yeo Sang-hyeon (37), Anchor Lee Yun-su (24)

▲ Business: Acting President of Hwashin Kim Yeong-sang (60), Treasury Section Chief of Bank of Chosun Jeong Un-jo (38), Factory owner Kim Hoe-gap (46), Architect Jo Hyeong-sik (35), Clothes factory owner Kim Seong-ik (52)

▲ U.S. Embassy in Korea: Government Affairs Section Official at the U.S. Embassy Kim Yong-seong (43), Security Section Official Choe Yeon-jin (44), U.S. Information Services Official Choe Jeong-seon (25)
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