중앙데일리

[EDITORIALS]Missing persons ignored

Sept 28,2002
Although the entire nation had hoped that the five missing "frog boys" would someday return to their homes, it was not to be.

The remains of the five youths, who disappeared 11 years ago during a frog-catching expedition, were found on a mountain near Daegu. All the efforts to find them after their disappearance, including the mobilization of an astounding 321,000 people nationwide, were in vain. The public's fascination with the case even led to the production of a movie and several songs.

What saddens us even more is the fact that their remains were found on Mount Waryong, where the search team had said it had checked every inch.

No words could describe the heartache suffered by the boys' parents, who have little to remember their sons by. The youths would have been in their early 20s now. We offer from the bottom of our hearts our condolences to the parents, who had never given up hope of finding their children during the 11-year saga.

Experts say that it is extremely difficult to determine the cause of their deaths after all this time, but the police should do their best to close the case.

About 5,000 children go missing every year, and nearly 50,000 parents are wandering across the country in search of their lost offspring, giving up everything else in their lives. Blaming themselves for the loss of their children, many of the parents are sick in heart and body. Some couples break up.

Such things happen largely because the job of looking for missing children is left to the parents. Although a large number of people were mobilized to search for the frog boys, it is still true that the hunt was a short-term phenomenon driven by novelty.

Members of a society can commit themselves fully to their jobs and duties only when society ensures that they can raise their children in safety and that any missing child can be found soon. State-run broadcasting companies should establish a regular television program designed to help find missing people. The Korea Welfare Foundation's center for missing children and the police should share information about missing persons.



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