Topic

hijacking

4 petitions

Started 2 months ago

Petition to United Nations Security Council, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), United Nations

Appealing to the Conscience of the 21st Century: Please Help Repatriate My Father!

Please help me! Help me bring my father home! I hereby appeal to your conscience. http://bringmyfatherhome.org/ According to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft, anyone who hijacks a civilian aircraft should be extradited or prosecuted “without exception whatsoever” (Art. 7), and be punished by “severe penalties” (Art. 2). But my father’s case has become an “exception”; for 47 years, the world has overlooked this cruel act of criminal savagery that has torn my family apart.  Your conscience has the power to bring my father home, and deliver the long-awaited justice to my family. With a sense of deep desperation, I appeal to your compassion and ask that you sign our petition! The little boy in the picture is me, and the man holding me is my father. He adored me very much.  On December 11, 1969, when I was just 2 years old, my father boarded a plane to go on a business trip in lieu of his supervisor. After taking off at 12:25 pm, the plane was soon hijacked by a North Korean agent and forcibly diverted to North Korea. Detained against his will in North Korea, my father cried out: “Please send me home!” “Under international law, international customary law, and humanitarian principles, I demand that you send me home!” “Please send me back to my family!” My father’s outcry was ignored, and the guards dragged him away like an animal to an unknown location. My father’s name is Hwang Won (황 원), a TV producer for MBC. He was 32 years old at the time of his abduction. Following a scathing international condemnation, North Korea promised on February 4, 1970 to return all 50 people (4 crew members and 46 passengers). But on February 14, 1970, the government broke its promise and returned only 39 passengers. Thanks to the testimonies provided by the 39, the truth behind the hijacking soon became clear. A brash 32-year-old at the time, my father firmly believed that he would be sent home under the rules of international law, international customary law, and humanitarian principles. According to witnesses, my father strongly resisted his North Korean captors during the re-education session, rebutting their communist ideologies one by one. For his defiance, my father suffered unspeakably. On January 1, 1970, my father strongly demanded that he be returned home and started to sing “Ga-Go-Pa” (“I Want To Go Home”), a South Korean song. He was then savagely dragged away to an unknown location. After that day, not even the 39 returnees saw my father again. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) strongly demanded the return of the remaining 11, but North Korea claimed that they were staying “of their own will.” Against this preposterous statement, the ICRC proposed that they verify through a 3rd country and a 3rd party whether those 11 were truly staying “of their own will.” North Korea rejected the proposal outright. What North Korea did is a serious crime under international law. In Resolution A17-8 (1970), the 17th Session (Extraordinary) of the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) General Assembly explicitly urged that “all unlawfully seized aircraft ... and all their passengers and crews be permitted to continue their journey as soon as practicable.” On September 9, 1970, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 286, in which they “[a]ppeal[ed] to all parties concerned for the immediate release of all passengers and crews without exception, held as a result of hijackings and other interference in international travel.” Later that year (1970), the 25th Session of the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted Resolution 2645 (XXV), the “Aerial hijacking or interference with civil air travel” resolution. To this day, however, my father and the other 10 remain unable to return home; they have become an “exception.” In 2001, when I was 34 years old, I watched the 3rd reunion event of separated families on TV. Ms. Gyung-hee Sung, one of the flight attendants, was shown joyfully meeting her mother. At that moment, I knew I had to meet my father. My throat went dry as my father’s life-long absence came back to me in full force. As my eyes welled up with tears, I looked at my little girl (2 years old), smiling in my arms and licking at her bottle. She was so beautiful, and I asked myself, “How difficult must it be for my father, forever separated from his children?” I experienced a new kind of pain; not of a son who lost his father, but of a father forcibly taken away from his children. The pain was unbearable. Having resolved to meet my father, I began searching for documents and other materials dating from my father’s abduction. But I was soon confronted by the huge wall of time, and people’s callous disregard for my human rights. “The hijacking happened in 1969,” people said. “It is a thing of the past. What does it have to do with us in the present?” They also said, “This is a complex issue of international politics. What can YOU hope to accomplish? Get over it!” I simply could not accept their logic. The humanitarian process aimed at bringing my father home is still ongoing. My father is not home yet. I have yet to meet him, and North Korea refuses to even officially confirm whether my father is still alive. How could anyone call my father’s case “a thing of the past”? As I became more and more convinced that there is not a single reason for my father to be held against his will, the deafening silence of the South Korean society pushed me to despair, and my family along with me. I had to make a choice: For the sake of my wife and children, should I give up trying to save my father? Or should I keep fighting? In the end, I simply could not give up. If I gave up on my father simply because it was too difficult, then I too would be accepting that he is “a thing of the past.” I would then become a co-perpetrator. And I knew I would not be fighting alone forever, that someday people of true conscience would stand with me. That hope kept me going. When I first began fighting to bring my father home, I was 34 years old. Now, I am 50, and my 2-year-old little girl has become 18. Now, 16 years later, I have concluded that my father’s return does not depend on the voluntary cooperation of North Korea. Rather, the key is for the international community to speak up, to demand that North Korea abide by the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft and other universal human rights treaties that it has agreed to uphold. Which is why I appeal to you: the conscience of humanity. Please remember me and my father. My father and I are human beings, not animals. We deserve to live while enjoying our rights as human beings. For the sake of realizing all our universal human rights, I urge you to join us in calling for the enforcement of the 1970 ICAO Resolution, the UN Security Council Resolution 286, and the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft. Help us ensure that my family does not become an “exception.” I appeal to the conscience of the 21st century: Please rise up and help repatriate my father!  #BringMyFatherHome  

In Cheol Hwang
104 supporters
Started 9 months ago

Petition to Ban Ki-moon (Secretary-General of the United Nations)

47 años después, no puedo todavía darme por vencido. #BringMyFatherHome

Secretario General Sr. Ban Ki-Moon: Mi nombre es In-cheol Hwang. Represento a las familias de los pasajeros del vuelo de Korean Air secuestrados en Corea del Norte. Le escribo esta carta con mi corazón angustiado, anhelando desesperadamente volver a ver a mi padre. Realmente lo extraño. Mi padre Won Hwang, fue detenido por la fuerza por el gobierno de Corea del Norte junto a otras diez personas inocentes hace 47 años. Ellos siguen sin poder volver a casa. Por la presente carta deseo hacer de su conocimiento esta situación y en nombre de ellos pedirle que por favor los traiga de regreso. Sr. Secretario-General, estoy seguro que usted ha estado en muchos vuelos anteriormente. Ha abordado cada uno de ellos con un destino y un propósito específico. Sr. Secretario General, le pido con todo respeto que trate de imaginar la situación de mi padre. Por favor imagine lo que haría usted si su avión fuese secuestrado por un agente de Corea del Norte y se viera obligado a permanecer en el territorio de ese país en contra de su voluntad. Si fuera obligado a convertirse en ciudadano de Corea del Norte, privado del derecho a expresar su opinión y separado para siempre de su madre, esposa e hijos. ¿Se imagina usted estar en una situación tan terrible como esa? Eso es exactamente lo que Corea del Norte le ha hecho a mi padre. Al cometer ese acto inhumano y atroz de piratería en el aire, el régimen de Corea del Norte se llevó a un hombre amado por toda su familia. La fotografía adjunta fue tomada solo unos meses antes del secuestro. Yo soy el chico de la foto y el hombre que me sostiene es mi padre. Él me adoraba mucho. Su nombre es Won Hwang. Tenía 32 años y era productor de televisión de la firma MBC cuando fue secuestrado. Cuando yo tenía tan solo dos años, mi padre se fue en un viaje de negocios. Abordó su avión a las 12:15 horas el 11 de diciembre de 1969. Sin embargo, 10 minutos después del despegue, el avión fue secuestrado por un agente norcoreano y conducido hasta Corea del Norte. Debido a las fuertes críticas de la comunidad internacional, el 4 de febrero de 1970 el gobierno de Corea del Norte se comprometió a devolver a las 50 personas que iban a bordo (46 pasajeros y cuatro tripulantes). Sin embargo, el 14 de febrero de 1970 el gobierno norcoreano rompió su promesa al repatriar solamente a 39 de las 50 personas secuestradas. A través de los testimonios de los pasajeros que regresaron se descubrió que los 11 restantes fueron retenidos por la fuerza. El Comité Internacional de la Cruz Roja (CICR) insistió firmemente a Corea del Norte que repatriara a las once personas restantes tan pronto como sea posible. Sin embargo, el gobierno norcoreano afirmó que estas personas habían elegido "por su propia voluntad" convertirse en ciudadanos de Corea del Norte. En respuesta a estas falsas declaraciones el CICR hizo una propuesta a Corea del Norte: a través de un tercer país confirmaría si estas víctimas estaban realmente allí por voluntad propia. Pero Corea del Norte rechazó la propuesta. La comunidad internacional denunció el acto de piratería cometido por Corea del Norte. En la resolución A17-8, la diecisieteava sesión (extraordinaria) de la Asamblea General de la OACI (Organización de Aviación Civil) instó a Corea del Norte a tomar medidas para liberar el avión apropiado ilegalmente, la tripulación del vuelo y los pasajeros. El 9 de septiembre de 1970 el Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas aprobó la Resolución 286 la cual, teniendo en cuenta a todas las partes interesadas, solicita la liberación inmediata de todos los pasajeros y la tripulación de vuelo que hayan sido detenidos por secuestro aéreo o interferencia con el transporte aéreo civil. En 1970 en la 25ª sesión de la Asamblea General de la ONU, los estados miembro adoptaron por unanimidad la resolución: "Secuestro aéreo o interferencia con el transporte aéreo civil (2645 XXV)" la cual condena la incautación ilegal de aviones civiles. Sin embargo, incluso después de 47 años, mi padre sigue detenido en Corea del Norte en contra de su voluntad. Los 39 pasajeros que regresaron caminando a través del Puente de la Libertad han proporcionado testimonios acerca de mi padre de cuando estaban con él en el Norte. Durante el tiempo que estuvieron retenidos en Corea del Norte mi padre pidió al gobierno norcoreano que, siguiendo los principios humanitarios y el protocolo, le permitieran regresar a casa. Los detenidos fueron obligados a recibir educación ideológica. Pero mi padre repudió las percepciones erróneas de la ideología comunista. Por este motivo fue arrestado por soldados y llevado a una ubicación desconocida donde permaneció durante dos semanas. El 1ro de enero de 1970, mientras cantaba "Ga-Go-Pa" una canción acerca de la añoranza de la ciudad natal, fue arrestado nuevamente. Nadie lo ha visto desde entonces. Sr. Secretario General, en el año 2001 vi por televisión la tercera reunión de las familias que han quedado separadas. La Sra. Gyung-hee Sung, una de las asistentes de vuelo, aparecía feliz de reencontrarse con su madre. Sr. Secretario General, en ese momento supe que tenía que conocer a mi padre. Sin embargo, pronto caí en un oscuro abismo de dolor y desesperación. Recibí un sin fin de respuestas hirientes acerca de mi intención de reencontrarme con mi padre. Hubo gente que dijo, "El secuestro ocurrió ya hace mucho tiempo. Está en el pasado y estamos en el presente. ¿Por qué de repente tendríamos que ocuparnos de eso?" También dijeron: "Este es un tema sensible de una compleja política internacional. ¿Cómo podría una persona como usted abordar un problema tan complejo"? Sus palabras se burlaban de mí. No podía simplemente aceptar estas respuestas. Así que persistí en mi afán de resolver esta situación. Mis esfuerzos parecían estar dando frutos. En junio del 2006, Corea del Norte me envió una respuesta diciendo: "No podemos confirmar si el Sr. Won Hwang está vivo o muerto." Otro mensaje enviado por Corea del Norte al CICR en octubre del 2011 decía: "Los que no fueron repatriados se quedaron en Corea del Norte por voluntad propia y no es posible confirmar la vida o la muerte de aquellos que se quedaron." En mayo del 2012 Corea del Norte dijo al Grupo de Trabajo sobre Desapariciones Forzadas o Involuntarias de la ONU (GTDFI): "Estas personas no constituyen un caso de desaparición forzada. Por lo tanto, esto no es una cuestión humanitaria que concierna al GTDFI." Además, Corea del Norte continuó enviando información falsa diciendo: "Cualquier persona que esté diciendo lo contrario se convierte en una fuerza hostil contra Corea del Norte, conspirando para causar conflictos en las relaciones intercoreanas”. Sr. Secretario General, no estoy abatido por sus mentiras. En lugar de eso veo una oportunidad. La engañosa respuesta de Corea del Norte es la clave para resolver este problema y sus falsas declaraciones representan para mi padre precisamente el camino de regreso a casa. ¿Cómo puede no haber sido una desaparición forzada e involuntaria cuando mi padre fue secuestrado junto con el avión? ¿Por qué Corea del Norte no puede confirmar si mi padre está vivo o no? ¿Cómo puede esto no ser una preocupación humanitaria cuando mi padre está siendo privado de expresar sus deseos? ¿Por qué Corea del Norte no permite que un tercero lo contacte y confirme su libre albedrío? ¿Cómo pueden nuestras acciones ser consideradas hostiles contra Corea del Norte cuando solo estamos buscando a nuestras familias? Si el Norte es verdaderamente inocente en este asunto el régimen debería poder eximirse ante el mundo presentando evidencia clara. Sr. Secretario General, por favor ayúdenos a armar un caso para que Corea del Norte deba proporcionar pruebas irrefutables de sus declaraciones y para poder presionar al régimen a que actúe en consecuencia dentro de los principios y protocolos humanitarios. El acto ilegal de secuestrar aviones civiles debe ser procesado y los rehenes secuestrados deben ser devueltos sin excepción. Ésta es la justicia de nuestra época. Sin embargo mi familia se ha convertido en una excepción, ha sido excluida de la justicia actual. No puedo entender por qué se ha hecho con mi familia una excepción con respecto a los protocolos legítimos requeridos por la Resolución de la ONU 286 y los principios humanitarios. Me encontré con un rayo de luz en el informe de la Comisión de Investigación sobre los Derechos Humanos en la República Popular Democrática de Corea. En 1983 Corea del Norte ratificó voluntariamente el Convenio para la represión del apoderamiento ilícito de aeronaves (Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft) y el Convenio sobre las infracciones y ciertos otros actos cometidos a bordo de las aeronaves (Convention on Offenses and Certain Other Acts Committed On Board Aircraft). De acuerdo con estos convenios el avión secuestrado, en el cual viajaba mi padre, se encuentra todavía en vuelo realizando su recorrido. Por lo tanto, de acuerdo a estos convenios internacionales los once pasajeros restantes del vuelo de Korean Airline deben ser devueltos inmediatamente. Sr. Secretario General, por favor ayúdenos a traer a mi padre a casa usando esfuerzos y procedimientos humanitarios. "Papá". He vivido toda mi vida anhelando poder llamar a mi padre de esta forma. Cuarenta y siete años han pasado y sin embargo, mi deseo de poder pronunciar esta palabra es cada vez más fuerte. Deseo poder pronunciar su nombre y abrazarlo ahora mismo. Por favor, ¡ayúdeme a traer a mi padre de regreso! He adjuntado los documentos que demuestran que mi padre estaba a bordo del avión secuestrado realizando a un viaje de negocios. También le encomiendo mi posesión más preciada: la vieja fotografía de mi padre junto a mí y a su sobrina. Extiendo mi más profundo agradecimiento a usted. Gracias, señor Secretario General. Sinceramente, In Cheol Hwang Hijo de Won Hwang, víctima del secuestro del KAL YS-11 en 1969.

In Cheol Hwang
420 supporters
Started 9 months ago

Petition to Ban Ki-moon (Secretary-General of the United Nations)

우리 아버지를 돌려주세요! 47년이 지나도 저는 포기를 못하겠습니다! #BringMyFatherHome

친애하는 반기문 사무총장님! 안녕하십니까? 저는 한국에 사는 1969년 KAL기 납치피해자 가족회 황인철입니다. 저는 오늘 피를 토하는 듯 너무도 비통한 마음으로, 아버지가 너무도 보고 싶고 그리워 이렇게 반기문 사무총장님께 이 편지를 드립니다. 47년간 아무런 이유 없이 북한에 강제 억류된 제 아버지 ‘황 원’과 더불어 아직도 집으로 돌아오지 못한 11인의 송환을 위해서 부디 이 편지를 읽어주십시오. 반기문 사무총장님! 사무총장님께서도 수많은 비행기를 이용해 보셨겠지요. 비행기를 타실 때마다 특정 목적지에서의 임무수행을 위해 탑승하셨으리라 사료됩니다. 한 번 상상해 봐 주십시오. 만약 사무총장님이 타고 오신 비행기가 북한간첩에 의하여 하이재킹 당하여 북한 땅에 강제억류 되고, 자유의사를 단 한 번도 밝히지 못한 채 강압적으로 북한인민이 되고, 사랑하는 어머니는 물론 처자식과 생이별을 하게 된다면 사무총장님은 어떠시겠습니까? 인간 세상에서 결코 발생해서는 안 되는, 상상조차 없는 이 끔찍한 해적 행위로 인해 저희 가족은 북한당국에 사랑하는 아버지를 빼앗겼습니다. 동봉한 사진 속 남자아이는 저이고, 아이를 끌어 안은 분이 제 아버지이십니다. 아버지는 저를 너무도 사랑하셨습니다. 아버지 성함은 황 원이시고, 당시 나이는 32세, 직업은 MBC 방송국 PD로 언론인이셨습니다. 제 나이 2살 때인 지난 1969년 12일11일 정오 12시25분, 저희 아버지는 출장을 가시기 위하여 비행기에 탑승하셨고, 그 비행기는 이륙 후 10여분 만에 북한 고정간첩에 의하여 북한으로 강제 하이재킹 당하였습니다. 빗발치는 국제사회의 비난 여론에 의하여, 북한은 1970년 2월4일 전원 송환을 약속하였지만, 돌연 약속을 어기고 1970년 2일14일 승무원 4명과 승객 46명중 승객 39명만 부분송환을 하였습니다. 돌아온 승객 39명의 증언에 의하여 저희 아버지를 포함한 KAL납북 미귀환11인은 자유의사에 반하여 북한땅에 강제억류가 되었음이 밝혀졌고, 국제적십자위원회(ICRC)는 북한당국에게 조속한 송환을 강력히 요구하였지만, 북한은 ‘의거입북’이라 주장하였습니다. 북한의 이같은 억지주장에 국제적십자위원회(ICRC)는 ‘제3국’과 ‘제3자’를 통해 자유의사만이라도 확인하자고 제안하였으나 북한은 일방적으로 거절하였습니다. 국제사회는 북한의 해적행위를 규탄하며 1970년 ICAO(국제민간항공기구)제17차 특별총회 결의안 A-17-8호에서 불법적으로 압류된 항공기, 승무원과 승객들이 본래 여행을 계속할 수 있게 조치할 것을 촉구하였고 1970년 9월 9일 유엔안전보장이사회 결의문 제286호는 납치 및 국제항로 방해로 인해 억류된 모든 승객과 승무원이 예외 없이 즉각 해방될 것을 모든 유관 당사자들에게 호소하였습니다. 그 결과 1970년 제25차 유엔총회에서 ‘항공기 불법 탈취에 관한 규탄 결의안’이 만장일치로 채택 되었습니다. 그러나 저희 아버지는 47년이라는 긴 시간을 지나 아직도 북한땅에 강제억류 되어있습니다. 당시 판문점 자유의 다리를 통하여 집으로 돌아온 승객 39명이 저희 아버지 황 원씨가 북한에 억류되었을 당시 상황에 대하여 증언해 주었습니다. 당시 아버지께서는 인도주의 원칙과 절차에 따라 집으로 돌려 보내줄 것을 북한당국에 강력히 요구했고, 사상교육시간에 공산주의 이론이 틀리다며 조목조목 반박하였다가 이를 이유로 모처로 2주 동안 끌려갔다 돌아오셨다고 합니다. 그리고 1970년 1월 1일 대동여관에서 '가고파' 노래를 부르시다가 어디론가 아무도 모르는 곳으로 다시 끌려가셨고, 그 이후로는 부분 송환된 39명조차 저희 아버지를 볼 수 없었다고 합니다. 2001년 제3차 이산가족 상봉에서 KAL납북자 스튜어디스 성경희씨가 어머니와 상봉하는 모습을 본 후, 그 때부터 저도 ‘아버지를 만나야겠다’ 생각하게 되었습니다. 하지만 전 곧 저는 밑도 끝도 없는 절망과 고통 속에 빠져야 했습니다. 제 앞을 가로막은 벽은 ‘KAL기 납치사건은 1969년도에 발생한 과거의 사건이다. 이 과거의 사건이 현재 우리와 무슨 관계가 있느냐?’는 말과, ‘이 사건은 복잡한 국제 정치 문제다. 네가 어떻게 해결하겠는가?’라는 비아냥거리는 소리였습니다. 저는 이런 말들을 도저히 납득할 수 없었고, 해결을 위하여 부단히 노력하였습니다. 그 노력의 결과로 북한은 2006년 6월 저희 아버지에 대하여 ‘생사확인 불가능’이라는 통지서를 보냈고, 2011년 10월에는 국제적십자위원회(ICRC)를 통하여 ‘남으로 돌아가지 않은 자들은 자유의사에 의하여 북한에 머무는 것이며 이들의 생사확인은 불가능하다’는 답변이 돌아왔습니다. 2012년 5월에는 유엔인권이사회 산하 강제적 비자발적 실종 실무반(WGEID)을 통해 저희 아버지 황원씨는 ‘강제실종에 해당 되지 않는다. WGEID에서 다룰 인도주의 사항이 아니다. 북한의 적대세력에 의한 대결 책동의 산물이다’라는 답변이 돌아왔습니다. 그 후로도 똑같은 북측의 거짓답변을 지속적으로 받고 있습니다. 그러나 사무총장님! 북한의 거짓답변은 곧 본 문제해결의 열쇠이며, 바로 아버지가 집으로 돌아올 수 있는 길입니다. 왜, KAL기에 탑승한 채 북한으로 강제납치 당한 제 아버지가 생사조차 확인되지 않았건만 강제 실종이 아닌지, 왜, 북한의 거절 때문에 자유의사를 단 한 번도 밝히지 못했건만 인도주의 사항이 아닌지, 왜, 가족이 가족을 찾고자 하는데, 북한의 적대세력에 의한 대결 책동으로 귀결된 것인지, 진정 무고하다면, 위 물음에 답변함으로써 북한당국은 세계인들 앞에 죄 없음을 증명해야 할 것입니다. 반기문 사무총장님! 인도주의 원칙과 절차에 따라, 북한당국이 보내준 답변에 대하여 스스로 진위여부를 증명할 수 있도록 반박하여 주십시오! 민간항공기 불법 납치행위는 그 어떠한 경우에도 예외 없이 인도와 기소를 이행하여야 합니다. 이것은 현 우리시대의 정의입니다. 그럼에도 불구하고, 저희 가족은 지금 예외가 되었습니다. 왜 우리 가족만이 민간항공기 불법납치 행위에 대한 인도주의 원칙과 절차에서 예외가 돼야하는지 저는 정말로 모르겠습니다. 저는 또한 COI 보고서를 통하여 이 일을 해결할 수 있는 해법을 찾았습니다. 북한은 1983년 ‘항공기 불법납치 억제에 관한 협약’과 ‘항공기 내에 발생한 범죄 및 기타 행위에 관한 협약’을 북한당국 스스로 비준하였습니다. 이 각각의 협약에 따라 아버지가 탑승하다 하이재킹 당한 YS-11은 아직도 비행 중입니다. 그리고 이 항공기 국제협약에 따라 저의 아버지를 포함하여 KAL납북 미귀환 11인들은 대한민국으로 당장 안전하게 송환되어야 마땅합니다. 인도주의 원칙과 절차에 따라 저희 아버지가 집으로 돌아올 수 있도록 사무총장님께서 도와 주십시오! 아버지, 그 이름 불러보고 싶습니다. 47년이라는 세월 그리움만 품고 살았습니다. 이젠 저도 당당하게 아버지를 불러보고 싶고 그 품에 안기고 싶습니다. 부디 저희 아버지를 돌려주십시오! 사무총장님께, 당시 아버지가 출장을 가기 위하여 비행기를 탑승했음을 증명하는 자료와 어릴 적 아버지와 함께 찍은 사진을 동봉하여 올립니다. 깊이 감사드립니다.  2016년 6월17일 1969년 KAL기 납북자 황 원씨 아들 황 인철 드림  

In Cheol Hwang
420 supporters
Started 10 months ago

Petition to Ban Ki-moon (Secretary-General of the United Nations)

After 47 Years, I Still Cannot Give Up. #BringMyFatherHome

  Dear Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon: My name is In-cheol Hwang, and I represent the Families of the KAL Passengers Abducted by North Korea. As I am writing you this letter with a heart anguished beyond repair, I am still desperately longing to see my father. I truly miss him. Without any just cause, my father, Won Hwang, and another ten innocent people have been forcibly detained in North Korea by its regime for the past 47 years. They remain unable to come home. I hereby bring this situation to your attention and plead with you on their behalf to bring them back home. Mr. Secretary-General, I’m sure you have been on many airplanes before. You boarded each of those planes with a specific destination and a purpose to fulfill your duties. Mr. Secretary-General, with all due respect, please try to imagine my father’s situation. Please imagine what you would do if your plane was hijacked by a North Korean sleeper agent and you were forced onto North Korean territory against your will, if you were coerced to become a North Korean citizen without having a chance to ever speak your own mind, and if you were eternally split from the loving arms of your mother, wife, and children. Can you imagine being in such a horrible situation? That is exactly what North Korea did to my father. By committing this unimaginably inhumane and atrocious act of mid-air piracy, the North Korean regime took away a beloved man from his whole family. The included photo was taken only a few months before the hijacking. I am the boy in the picture, and the man holding me is my father. He adored me very much. His name is Won Hwang, and he was a 32 year-old TV producer at MBC when he was abducted. When I was two years old, my father went on a business trip. He boarded his airplane at 12:15 pm on December 11, 1969. However, only 10 minutes after takeoff, the plane was hijacked by a North Korean sleeper agent on the plane and flown to North Korea. Because of scathing criticism by the international community, North Korea promised to return all 50 onboard (46 passengers and four flight crew) on February 4, 1970. However, North Korea broke its promise on February 14, 1970 when it repatriated only 39 of the abducted 50. Through the returned passengers’ testimonies, it was discovered that the remaining 11 passengers were forcibly detained in North Korea. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) strongly urged North Korea to repatriate the remaining eleven as soon as possible, but North Korea claimed that they had chosen to become North Korean citizens “according to their own free will”. In response to such blatantly false statements, the ICRC made a proposal to the North through a third party country and a third party that they wished to confirm whether these victims were truly there on their own free-will. North Korea rejected this proposal. The international community denounced the act of piracy committed by North Korea. In Resolution A17-8, the Seventeenth Session (Extraordinary) of the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) General Assembly urged North Korea to take measures to free the illegally seized airplane, flight crew, and passengers. Resolution 286 of the UN Security Council, was adopted on September 9, 1970, clearly demonstrates an appeal to all concerned parties for an immediate release of all passengers and flight crew who had been detained by aerial hijacking or interference with civil air travel. At the 25th session of the UN General Assembly in 1970, member states unanimously adopted the Aerial Hijacking or Interference with Civil Air Travel (2645 XXV) resolution, condemning the illegal seizing of civilian aircraft.Yet, even after 47 years, my father is still detained in North Korea against his will. The 39 returned passengers who walked across the Freedom Bridge to come home have provided testimonies about my father when they were with him in the North. While they were held in North Korea, my father strongly requested the North Korean government honor humanitarian principles and protocols to return him home. When the abductees were all under coerced ideological education, he logically reputed every misperception about the Communist ideology. For that he was dragged away by soldiers to an unknown location for about two weeks. On January 1, 1970, as he was singing “Ga-Go-Pa,” a song about missing your hometown, he was again dragged away. No one has seen him since. Mr. Secretary-General, In 2001, I watched the 3rd Meeting of the Separated Families on TV. Ms. Gyung-hee Sung, one of the flight attendants, was shown joyfully meeting her mother.  Mr. Secretary-General, at that moment, I knew that I had to meet my father. However, I soon fell into a dark abyss of pain and despair. There was a huge wall of hurtful responses between me and my father. People said, “The hijacking happened too long a time ago. It’s in the past and we are in the present. Why do we have to care all of a sudden?” They also said, “This is a sensitive issue concerning complex international politics. How could an individual like you address such a complicated problem?” – Their words mocked me. I simply could not accept these responses, and I persisted to resolve this issue.  My efforts seemed to be paying off. In June of 2006, North Korea sent me a reply saying, “We cannot confirm whether Mr. Won Hwang is alive or dead.” Another message sent by North Korea to the ICRC in October 2011 read: “The ones who were not repatriated are staying in North Korea of their own free will, and it is not possible to confirm the life or death of those remaining.” In May 2012, North Korea told the UN’s Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID): “These people are not a case of enforced disappearance; therefore, this is not a humanitarian issue that concerns WGEID.” In addition, North Korea continues to send false statements saying, “Anyone saying otherwise are hostile forces against North Korea, plotting to cause conflict in inter-Korean relations.” Mr. Secretary-General, I am not dejected by their lies; rather, I see an opportunity. North Korea’s deceitful response is the key to address the problem, and these false statements are precisely my father’s road home. How can it not be an enforced and involuntary disappearance when my father was hijacked with the plane by the North? Why is it that North Korea cannot confirm if he is alive or not? How can it not be a humanitarian concern when my father cannot express his wishes under duress? Why is North Korea not letting a third party contact him and confirm his free will?  How can it be a hostile plot against North Korea when we are only looking for our families? If the North is truly innocent in this matter, the regime should be able to exonerate itself before the world with clear evidence. Mr. Secretary-General, Please help us make a case so that North Korea would provide indisputable evidence for its own statements, and pressure the regime to act accordingly within humanitarian principles and protocols. The illegal act of hijacking civilian aircraft must be prosecuted and the abducted hostages must be returned without exception. This is the justice of our times. However, my family has become an exception, and we are left behind from the justice of our times. I cannot understand why only my family is made an exception from the rightful protocols required by UN Resolution 286 and humanitarian principles. I found a sliver of hope in the report by the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. In 1983, North Korea voluntarily ratified Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft and Convention on Offenses and Certain Other Acts Committed On Board Aircraft. According to these respective agreements, the hijacked YS-11 on which my father boarded, is technically still in flight and on its journey. According to this international agreement, it is only just for the remaining 11 KAL passengers, including my father, to be immediately returned home. Mr. Secretary-General, please help us bring my father home using humanitarian procedures and efforts. “Dad.” I have lived my whole life longing to call out to him. Forty-seven years have passed, yet I now long to call out even louder the word I never had a chance to say. Now, I want to bravely call out his name and to be embraced in his arms.  Please, return my father! I have enclosed the documents as evidence to prove that my father was on the hijacked airplane for his business trip. I also entrust my most prized possession – the old picture of my father with his son (and his niece). I extend my deepest gratitude to you. Thank you, Mr. Secretary-General. Sincerely, Hwang In-cheol Son of Won Hwang, 1969 KAL YS-11 hijacking victim

In Cheol Hwang
420 supporters