KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- The Taliban reportedly have set a new deadline for the lives of 19 South Korean hostages in Afghanistan, it was reported Sunday.
The Taliban threatened to begin killing the hostages Monday if eight Taliban prisoners held by the Afghan government were not released, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.
The new deadline was established because South Korean hostage negotiators have shown a "lukewarm" attitude in face-to-face negotiations with the Taliban, said Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi.
A total of 23 South Korean Christian aid workers were seized July 19. Two of them, both men, have been killed while two women were released last week in what the Taliban called a "goodwill gesture."
The Afghan government has rejected a prisoner-for-hostage release but has not publicly rejected the idea of a ransom.