The Taliban originally seized 23 South Koreans, but have since killed two of the hostages and released two others. They had initially demanded the withdrawal of South Korean troops from the country and the release of prisoners in exchange for freeing the hostages, but Afghan officials had ruled out any exchange, saying it would only encourage further kidnappings.So, the line in the sand has been drawn. No South Korean Christians will be allowed in Afghanistan. They cannot engage in any kind of missionary work, even if it is to the benefit of the Afghan people in providing education, health, or welfare programs as a part of the missionary work, and the South Koreans are going to tuck tail and run by the end of the year, exposing the Afghan people to the mercies of the Taliban.
Qari Yousef Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, said South Korean and Taliban delegates at face-to-face talks Tuesday in the central town of Ghazni had "reached an agreement" to free the captives.
South Korean presidential spokesman Cheon Ho-sun said the deal had been reached "on the condition that South Korea withdraws troops by the end of year and South Korea suspends missionary work in Afghanistan," he said.
The Taliban now have a successful recipe that they can use on other countries to demand their departure from Afghanistan so that they can regain power in the country and restart their plans for an Islamic state from which the likes of al Qaeda can continue operating with impunity.
Michelle Malkin notes that she'll believe the deal is done when the hostages are actually released.