Unification ministry to install artwork symbolizing N.K. abductees at Seoul festival


SEOUL, May 9 (Yonhap) — The unification ministry in charge of inter-Korean affairs said Thursday it will install an artwork inspired by three forget-me-nots at an upcoming garden show in efforts to raise awareness of South Koreans being held in North Korea.

In February, the ministry disclosed an image of three forget-me-nots as a symbol for South Korean abductees, detainees and prisoners of the 1950-53 Korean War to draw people’s attention to the long pending issue in hope of their safe repatriations.

The artwork by Nanan Kang, comprising a glass greenhouse filled with the floral symbols, will go on display at the Seoul International Garden Show from May 16 to Oct. 8, according to the ministry.

This March 27, 2024, photo shows a pin of three forget-me-nots as a symbol for South Korean abductees, detainees and prisoners of the 1953-53 Korean War in North Korea. (Yonhap)

This March 27, 2024, photo shows a pin of three forget-me-nots as a symbol for South Korean abductees, detainees and prisoners of the 1953-53 Korean War in North Korea. (Yonhap)

The ministry will hold an opening ceremony of the display on May 16 to be attended by Unification Minister Kim Yung-ho, Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon, officials from civic groups and families of the victims, it added.

Currently, six South Koreans are being detained in North Korea, including three missionaries whose whereabouts and fates are unknown.

Separately, 516 South Koreans have yet to return home among an estimated 3,835 people who were kidnapped by North Korea after the 1950-53 Korean War, according to government data. A total of 80 prisoners of war have returned home since 1994 but only nine had survived as of March.

This compilation image, provided by the unification ministry on May 9, 2024, shows an artwork by Nanan Kang inspired by a symbol for South Korean abductees, detainees and prisoners of the 1953-53 Korean War in North Korea. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This compilation image, provided by the unification ministry on May 9, 2024, shows an artwork by Nanan Kang inspired by a symbol for South Korean abductees, detainees and prisoners of the 1953-53 Korean War in North Korea. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

mlee@yna.co.kr
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