Korean kidnapped in Syria confirmed safe: official

January 21, 2014

(Yonhap) A South Korean trade agency employee kidnapped in Syria has been confirmed to be safe, a ranking government official said Tuesday.

Han Seok-woo, the head of the Libya unit of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), was abducted Monday by four unidentified Syrian gunmen on his way home, prompting Seoul to ramp up efforts to win his release.

“Han has been confirmed to be unharmed,” the official said, without disclosing how he confirmed his safety and who was behind the abduction.

The government is bracing for all possibilities of the culprit behind the kidnapping, the official said, adding that “but for now, it is unlikely that a political motive is behind the abduction.”

The government has been maintaining confidentiality in dealing with abduction cases, but the official’s remarks are seen as indicating that the government may have located the culprit and began negotiations to free Han.

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