Südkorea: Endlich werden Minenopfer entschädigt
Seit über 60 Jahren sind die Grenzen zu Nordkorea vermint - über 1000 Minenopfer gab es seit dem auf der südkoreanischen Seite. Eine Entschädigung durften Sie bisher nicht erwarten. Ein neues Gesetz ändert das nun endlich. (Auf Englisch)
After decades of official silence, South Korea is beginning to compensate hundreds of landmine victims maimed by a deadly, and dangerously enduring legacy of the Korean War and its Cold War aftermath.
Dwarfed in numerical terms by countries like Laos and Cambodia where landmines kill or injure hundreds each year, South Korean victims have largely been left to suffer in unrecognised isolation.
At least 1,000 are estimated to have died or been left disabled in recent decades, according to the Peace Sharing Association, a coalition of local anti-landmine civic groups. Among them, nearly 30 have been killed or maimed since 2005.
Now, 65 years after the conflict started, a law which came into effect in April is offering some financial support, including compensation payouts, to the injured and to the relatives of those who died.
Lawmaker Han Ki-Ho, who championed the bill, said there was a "terrible irony" in South Korea having donated 8.8 billion won ($8.0 million) since 1993 to UN campaigns to help landmine victims.
"And we spent next to nothing to help our own... it doesn't make any sense," the former army lieutenant general told AFP.
The military says more than 800,000 mines were planted along the tense border with North Korea during and after the 1950-53 Korean conflict as a defence against infiltration. Activists estimate the number at over one million.