Aug. 3, 2007
Taliban may delay direct talks with S. Korea until after U.S. summit
Yonhap News Agency
Taliban kidnappers holding South Korean hostages may be deliberately delaying direct talks with South Korea until after key meetings in the U.S. and with Pakistan, legislators from Seoul said Friday, quoting the Afghan envoy here.
Amb. Said Jawad said the kidnappers may wait and see the results of the U.S.-Afghanistan summit this weekend and the upcoming Islamic Council meeting before sitting down with South Korean officials, according to the legislators. More than 700 tribal leaders from Afghanistan and Pakistan will attend the council meeting….
Taliban, S Korean team to hold talks
A Taliban spokesman said it had been assured by South Korean officials that Islamist fighters would be released in exchange for the kidnapped aid workers.
South Korean officials scrambled yesterday to free 21 aid workers held by the Taliban, who said they had been told their key demand for the release of jailed fighters would be met….
Shim Jin-pyo, second from left, mourned with relatives and friends at the coffin of his son Shim Sung-min at a hospital in Sungnam, South Korea. Mr. Shim was one of two hostages killed in Afghanistan. (NY Times Pool)
Anger Is Tempering Sympathy for South Korean Hostages
New York Times
As the South Korean hostage crisis entered its third week, sympathy here for the 21 people remaining in Taliban captivity in Afghanistan has been tempered by anger over their decision to travel to such a dangerous region.
“My friends and I first wondered, ‘Why did the church send those people to a place the government had advised them not to travel?’ ” said Shim Sae-rom, a political science major at Ewha Womans University in Seoul. “What were they thinking?” ….