S. Korea probe into Iraq hostage death
South Korea's parliament is to open a formal investigation into Seoul's failed attempts to rescue a Korean hostage beheaded in Iraq by an armed Islamic group.
Two rival political parties, the ruling Uri Party and the opposition Grand National Party, agreed to open the inquiry to "get to the bottom of the case," said Lee Jong-Kul, deputy parliamentary leader of the Uri Party.
"There will be no sanctuary in this probe. We will look into all government agencies concerned," Lee said.
The probe will begin in earnest around July 10 after summonses being sent to witnesses, he said.
Media reports said Kim was abducted on May 31, nearly three weeks earlier than previously reported, and that diplomats may have been informed before militants issued their demands through Al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based satellite news channel, on Sunday.
The foreign ministry said it knew nothing of the kidnapping until it saw the Al-Jazeera broadcast.
However, controversy is swirling around reports that Kim's employer in Iraq, another Korean Kim Chun-Ho, visited the embassy in Baghdad four times between his disappearance and the date of the broadcast.
The Associated Press said it telephoned the foreign ministry here on June 3 to check whether a South Korean had been kidnapped or reported missing in Iraq and was told that Seoul was "not aware" of any such case.
The foreign ministry on Friday confirmed the call was made but not reported to higher authorities. The confirmation further fueled public outrage, according to local media.
The killing has further polarized the country between anti-US and opponents of the war on one side and US supporters on the other.
Pro- and anti-war demonstrators took to the streets on Saturday in cities across the country.