S. Korea calls for release of prisoners from N. Korea

Seoul kept in dark over welfare of at least six South Koreans currently incarcerated in North

S. Korea calls for release of prisoners from N. Korea

World Bulletin / News Desk

Seoul's presidential office pressured North Korea on Tuesday to let go six known South Korean and three American prisoners – hours after the death of U.S. student Otto Warmbier, who was released by the North last week in an unresponsive condition following 17 months behind bars in the reclusive state.

"President Moon Jae-in expressed regrets after hearing the news of [Otto] Warmbier's death," presidential office spokesman Park Soo-hyun told reporters in comments carried by Yonhap News Agency.

"The president has also raised questions whether the North had fulfilled its human rights duties, such as notifying Warmbier's family of his condition when it worsened and allowing him to receive the best treatment," the spokesman added – with questions still lingering about what caused the student's comatose state.

Park also insisted Pyongyang would "have to quickly return" the remaining South Korean and American captives and that Seoul would do all it can to achieve that outcome.

Washington advises U.S. citizens not to travel to North Korea due to its harsh punishments for actions such as religious activities that would not be considered crimes in most of the world, while South Koreans are not legally allowed to travel there without permission.

Separately, Seoul’s Unification Ministry confirmed Tuesday that Pyongyang had so far failed to confirm the well-being of its South Korean prisoners after inquiries were made through third-party countries due to the absence of bilateral diplomatic ties.

Last Mod: 20 Haziran 2017, 13:08
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