A South Korean who has been held captive by an unidentified armed group in Libya since July remains healthy, an official from the Foreign Ministry said Monday, amid the government’s ongoing efforts to secure his release.
“(The Libyan government) confirmed that the South Korea national had been safely held captive in the southern part of Libya,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
The South Korean national and three Filipinos were abducted from their work site in Jabal Hasouna in western Libya on July 6, according to the ministry. The identity of the kidnappers and their demands remain unknown.
A video clip showing the hostages crying for help was posted on the Facebook account of a major Libyan news outlet on July 31. It was uploaded in a third country by an unidentified online user.
“There are several things happening (as part of efforts to rescue the abductee,)” the official said without elaborating. “The South Korean government’s stance is that we will support and assist the Libyan authorities-led rescue efforts.”
The South Korean government checked on the hostage’s health in the process of consulting with the Libyan authorities, and the US also shared information on the situation with South Korea, the official said.
The government recently contacted key Libyan officials to ask for cooperation for the release of the South Korean abductee, the official said.
The government aims to pull out all South Korean nationals in Libya within the year for safety reasons. It plans to impose administrative actions, such as passport invalidation, on those who refuse to leave Libya by Nov. 17.
There are about 22 South Koreans in Libya, with most of them staying there for business. Some 26 South Koreans requested the government to allow them to continue using their passports, but the government has rejected exemptions.
By Ock Hyun-ju (firstname.lastname@example.org)