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Reports Claim S Korea Paid $20M For Hostages

From the terrorist enablers at Al Jazeera:

Korean hostages negotiator Kim Mambok, left with an unidentified associate addresses the press in a Dubai hotel, Friday Aug. 31, 2007.

S Korea criticised for hostage deal

South Korea is facing growing criticism amid reports it paid a ransom to secure the release of 19 Koreans recently freed by the Taliban.

Several sources have told Al Jazeera that a sum of money was paid by Seoul.

Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper also quoted an Afghan source as saying the move was made after mediators decided the payment of a ransom was the only way to resolve the crisis.

However, a South Korean presidential spokesman said there had been no discussions with the Taliban about a ransom…

Taliban and Afghan officials have also denied that a ransom was involved.

But Alan Fisher, reporting for Al Jazeera from Kabul in Afghanistan, said that the “Taliban left the table substantially richer” and that the ransom could have been as high as $20m.

We’ve gone back to several sources and again they have told us that as far as they are aware there was certainly a ransom paid and a figure that is being bandied around in Kabul is about $20m … All our sources tell us that money did change hands.”

He also reported that kidnappings by the Taliban were likely to continue.

“In a vow to continue with the kidnappings they [the Taliban] said that ‘we will do the same thing with other allies in Afghanistan because we found this way to be successful’,” he said.

Seoul had earlier restated its decision to withdraw its small military presence in Afghanistan – about 200 people comprised mainly of medical workers and engineers – by the end of the year.

It also agreed with the Taliban that it would ban missionary groups from going to Afghanistan, prompting criticism from the Korea World Missions Association.

“Korean churches cannot help expressing deep concerns over the agreement reached between the government and the Taliban to halt missionary activities in Afghanistan,” the organistaion said in a statement…

Critics have also hit out at the Afghan government, saying that the deal with the Taliban was a propaganda victory for the religious group.

Rangeen Dadfar Spanta, the Afghan foreign minister, said on Germany’s RBB radio that “if the impression is created now that the international community and the Afghan government allow themselves to be blackmailed, then this sends a very dangerous message”…

German politicians also criticised South Korea’s handling of the crisis, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, saying Berlin would stand firm in its refusal to negotiate over a German engineer captured by the Taliban more than six weeks ago…

How absolutely appalling, if true.

How many more people will be kidnapped thanks to their short-sighted idiocy?

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, August 31st, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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