The mother of Shim Sung-Min, one of two confirmed dead South Korean hostages in Afghanistan, cries after watching television news about him on Tuesday.
The mother of Shim Sung-Min, one of two confirmed dead South Korean hostages in Afghanistan, cries after watching television news about him on Tuesday. Pool/Getty Images
Police discovered the body of a second South Korean aid worker in central Afghanistan as kidnappers warned they would kill more of the remaining 21 hostages by Wednesday if Taliban prisoners are not freed.
South Korea, meanwhile, pleaded with the international community to set aside the normal practice of refusing to negotiate with hostage-takers, and relatives of some of the remaining hostages appealed for U.S. help in freeing their loved ones.
South Korea "is well aware of how the international community deals with these kinds of abduction cases," said a statement from the president's office. "But it also believes that it would be worthwhile to use flexibility in the cause of saving the precious lives of those still in captivity and is appealing (to) the international community to do so."
The comments came after Afghan officials found the body of Shim Sung-min, 29, a former information technology worker who was volunteering with the South Korean church group on an aid mission to Afghanistan.
He was killed Monday after two deadlines given by the Taliban demanding the release of insurgent prisoners passed with no action.
Last week, the church group's leader, Pastor Bae Hyung-kyu, was fatally shot.
A purported Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, said senior Taliban leaders decided to kill Shim because the government had not met Taliban demands to trade prisoners for the Christian volunteers, who were in their 13th day of captivity Tuesday.
"The Kabul and Korean governments are lying and cheating. They did not meet their promise of releasing Taliban prisoners," Ahmadi, who claims to speak for the Taliban, said by phone from an undisclosed location.
"If the Kabul government does not release the Taliban prisoners, then we will kill after 12 o'clock - we are going to kill the Korean hostages," Ahmadi said. "It might be a man or a woman ... It might be one. It might be two, four. It might be all of them."
The Taliban commanders set a new deadline of noon on Wednesday.
The Afghan government said it does not support the release of militant prisoners.
"We are not going to discuss the details, releasing or not releasing of criminals in exchange for the hostages," said Humayun Hamidzada, spokesman for President Hamid Karzai. "We are doing everything we can to secure their release."
Shim's body was found on the side of the road at daybreak Tuesday in the village of Arizo Kalley in Andar District, about 5 miles west of Ghazni city, said Abdul Rahim Deciwal, the chief administrator in the area.
From NPR reports and The Associated Press