U.N. calls on North Korea to confirm status of missing flight attendant

SEOUL, July 19 (UPI) — The United Nations Human Rights Council is calling on Pyongyang for an explanation of the whereabouts of 14 South Korean nationals, including a flight attendant who was allegedly abducted in 1969.

The incident known as the hijacking of Korean Air Lines YS-11 occurred on Dec. 11, 1969, and involved the seizure of a plane flying a domestic route from Gangneung, a city on the eastern coast of South Korea, and Seoul.

Most of the people onboard were released but at least 11 were taken to North Korea.

The Council’s Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances recently issued the report, and called on North Korea to confirm the whereabouts of those abducted to the North, Voice of America reported.

According to the U.N. statements, the group is inquiring into the status of Korean Air Lines flight attendant Jeong Gyeong-suk, who was 24 at the time of her disappearance.

The United Nations is also checking on the status of a Lee Chang-hyeok, who was abducted in China along with other North Korean defectors who disappeared in the same country.

Others under inquiry include six South Korean nationals who have gone missing, including Baek Cheol-beom, and two other South Koreans, including Choe Hong-sik, who was possibly abducted during the 1950-53 Korean War.

South Korean news service News 1 reported Jeong, the flight attendant, was confirmed abducted after the hijacking of the Korean Air Lines flight and remains unable to return home.

On Monday the South Korean government hosted a meeting of a committee addressing the abduction of South Korean nationals by the North.

A total of 5,505 South Koreans are believed to have been kidnapped to the North since the country was divided, and the vast majority of the group, 4,782, were abducted during the Korean War, according to the committee’s findings.

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