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S. Korea's Mission 'Airlift Afghans Who Helped S. Korean Mission On the Ground' Analysis Updated: 2021-08-25 17:17:15 KST

The Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan has seen tens of thousands of Afghans flee the country to escape the jihadists' brutal rule.
More than 18-thousand people have been flown out of Kabul since the militants took over on 15 August, as the United Nations Refugee Agency warns that the "vast majority" of Afghans have "no clear way out."
Meanwhile, over 380 Afghans who supported South Korea in Afghanistan before the Taliban seized power are expected to arrive at an airport outside Seoul tomorrow.
Let's take an in-depth look.
Live in the studio with me is Go Myong-hyun, senior research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

Those who are being airlifted out of Afghanistan to South Korea are locals who worked at the South Korean embassy in Kabul, hospitals, vocational training centers and provincial reconstruction teams.
President Moon cited the country's "moral responsibility" to house the Afghans given the "serious situations" many of them are under.
What sort of "serious situations" are we talking about? Why do they face serious consequences because they supported South Korea for the last decade?

Earlier reports had indicated that nearly 430 people had applied for evacuation to South Korea, but in the end, 391 of them are being airlifting in three military aircrafts.
So, 36 of them have decided to either stay in Afghanistan or head to another country.
Could there have been Taliban interference here?

This is the very first time for the South Korean military to enter a conflict zone and fly out hundreds of foreigners to Korean soil. What is the significance here?

The South Korean government has said that this group of evacuees will be entering the country not as refugees, "but people who have done distinguished service to South Korea."
What kind of a difference does their legal status of being recognized not as refugees but as people who have done service to Korea make?

On a global level, which countries are accepting Afghan refugees and which aren't - and on what basis?

And as North Korea watches the situation unfold, what do you think is running through the mind of Kim Jong-un?

Even as the annual South Korea, U.S. joint military drills come to an end tomorrow, North Korea has been pretty mute about it. U.S. special envoy on North Korea, Sung Kim ended his four-day trip to South Korea today without much progress - at least none that we've been given access to.
What, in your view, was the purpose of Sung Kim's visit which coincided with the Russian chief nuke envoy's visit and what does he return home with?

Dr. Go Myong-hyun, our senior North Korea and IR analyst. Thanks for speaking with us tonight.
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