Panel aimed at finding abductees

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Panel aimed at finding abductees

South Korea launched a government-led committee on Monday aimed at identifying citizens kidnapped by North Korea during the two countries’ war six decades ago and calling for their repatriation.

The committee is chaired by the prime minister and includes three civilians whose family members were abducted during the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in a truce, Unification Ministry officials in Seoul said.

The Seoul-based Korean War Abductees’ Family Reunion group estimates that more than 110,000 South Koreans were kidnapped during the invasion by North Korea, which denies any such activity and argues that many locals voluntarily defected to the communist country during the war.

The committee, which South Korean lawmakers have proposed for years, comes amid high tension between the Koreas.

The committee is comprised of 15 members, including the nation’s unification, foreign and defense ministers. South Korea also is demanding that soldiers captured during the Korean War be released by North Korea.

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