Saturday, August 11, 2007

South Korean Hostage Update

The Taliban have said that they believe that the 21 South Korean missionairies they've been holding may be released in the next 48 hours.
Mullah Qari Bashir said that face-to-face negotiations with four Korean officials that began Friday were going well and that the Taliban were sticking with their original demand, that 21 Taliban prisoners be released from prisons in Afghanistan.

"God willing the government (of Afghanistan) and the government of Korea will accept this," Bashir said outside the Afghan Red Cross office in Ghazni. "Definitely these people will be released. God willing our friends will be released."

Asked when the Koreans might be freed, he said: "Hopefully today or tomorrow."
What are the Korean representatives offering that has caused a change in circumstances? The Taliban have already executed two of the hostages, and threatened to do the same unless their demands are met.

Those demands include the release of Taliban held in Afghan and coalition forces prisons.

Have the South Koreans folded and established a quid pro quo to secure the release? Has a ransom been agreed upon? That's my best guess, and it would be entirely reasonable to make that assumption after watching the situation unfold.

The Taliban are claiming that they're going to release two female hostages as a sign of goodwill. The last time there was a mention of an ill hostage, the Taliban executed one of the male hostages.

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