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During the Korean War, about 50,000 to 70,000 South Korean soldiers were taken prisoner of war (POW) by North Korea and its allies. While North Korea claimed that most South Korean POWs expressed to remain in North Korea and repatriated only 8,343 POWs, 80 South Korean POWs who escaped from North Korea told a different story. Most testified that they were never asked whether they want to return to South Korea, and some testified that they were forced to say they want to remain in North Korea. Held captive against their will, 50,000 South Korean POWs were sent to North Korean mines, such as Aoji coal mine, and toil in the mines for more than three decades or until death.

This post was originally published on the Cardozo International & Comparative Law Review on November 30, 2022. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.