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South Korean hostages:

  • Talks begin for hostage release | Face-to-face negotiation likely to break ice in 3-week-long crisis (The Korea Times)

  • Taliban, Koreans negotiate on hostages | Two top Taliban leaders and four South Korean officials met face-to-face for the first time Friday to negotiate the fate of 21 members of a church group held hostage for three weeks, an Afghan official said (Associated Press)

  • Taliban and Korean team begin talks over hostages | Afghanistan's Taliban began the first round of face-to-face talks with a South Korean team on Friday over the 21 hostages the group is holding, an Afghan official said (Reuters)

  • Taliban demand $1million for each hostage | A high-ranking Afghan source said earlier that the kidnappers have demanded $1 million as ransom for each Korean national. But now it seems that kidnappers are likely to reduce the demand for ransom (The Korea Times)

  • 3 charged for misinformation on hostages | The file explained the hostages went to Afghanistan for missionary purpose, not as medical volunteers as they had said. The file contained photographs of them singing hymns inside a Mosque. It instantly spread to not only domestic Web sites but also foreign media's sites. However, the pictures were taken in 2005, long before this trip, which was actually to provide medical service (The Korea Times)

  • God is not responsible | My earnest hope is to see you Korean hostages in Afghanistan come back home safe. I hope you will come back and make your hard-earned lessons known. I hope you will graduate from your naivety with the help of Bertrand Russell and Richard Dawkins (Kim Heung-sook, The Korea Times)

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