Secretary-General welcomes reports of release of South Korean hostages

Secretary-General welcomes reports of release of South Korean hostages

Ban Ki-moon
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed media reports that the Taliban has agreed to free 19 hostages from the Republic of Korea (ROK) that it has held captive in Afghanistan for more than a month.

Responding to questions during a press conference at UN Headquarters in New York, Mr. Ban said he was pleased and now hoped the hostages could be released as soon as possible.

The Secretary-General commended the efforts of the Afghan and ROK Governments and the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) to obtain the release of the Koreans.

He also voiced concern over the difficult conditions faced by the hostages, who were captured on 19 July while in Ghazni province in south-eastern Afghanistan. Two hostages were subsequently killed and two others were freed.