S. Korean teenage IS member assumed dead: ministry

November 17, 2015
This Korean ISIS fighter is assumed to be dead. (Twitter)

This Korean ISIS fighter is assumed to be dead. (Twitter)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — A South Korean teenager, who reportedly joined Islamic State (IS), is believed to be dead, a senior government official said Tuesday.

The 18-year-old Kim disappeared in January during his trip to the southern Turkish town of Kilis.

The National Intelligence Service said Kim seems to have crossed the border into Syria and joined the extremist militant group.

“We assume he is dead,” Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam said during a meeting of the parliamentary committee for foreign affairs.

“But nothing has been finally confirmed despite our efforts to verify Kim’s fate and whereabouts through various channels including the Turkish embassy,” he said.

Lim was responding to ruling Saenuri Party Rep. Kim Young-woo, who asked the vice minister to confirm rumors about Kim’s death.

Referring to the IS-related terrorist attacks that killed 129 people across the French capital of Paris, Lim said, “We cannot rule out the possibility (of terrorist attacks in South Korea).”