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08/29/2021 South Korea (International Christian Concern) – The Taliban, self-referred to as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, has seized power in Afghanistan since mid-August. The militant group is now desperately seeking diplomatic recognition, including that of South Korea.

In an exclusive interview with the Seoul-based Yonhap News, a Taliban spokesman said that the Taliban wants South Korea to recognize it as a “legitimate” government of Afghanistan and hopes to strengthen economic cooperation and other exchanges between the two countries.

According to Abdul Qahar Balkhi, a member of the Taliban’s Cultural Commission, Seoul ought to maintain “cordial” ties with the country “replete with untapped mineral resources.”

However, South Korea has a troubling past with the Islamic group, for the Taliban fatally attacked a Korean soldier in 2007 and killed two of 23 Korean Christians abducted during a mission trip in Afghanistan in the same year. Seoul had to pay a ransom of US$20 million and promise to withdraw 200 staged troops in order to secure the release of the remaining 21 Koreans.

The international community is doubtful about how trustworthy the Taliban is in keeping all the novel pledges to uphold the rights of women and other groups, including former government employees, people who once worked for foreign governments, media, and activists. The United Nations has already warned the world of the “serious human rights concerns and situation” in the aftermath of the takeover.

For interviews, please contact Addison Parker: [email protected].