May 5 (UPI) -- The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention recently ruled a South Korean citizen who was abducted to the North following a plane hijacking in 1969 is a victim of arbitrary detention, Voice of America reported Tuesday.
WGAD said in its decision published Saturday that Hwang Won, who was among 50 people abducted while on board a Korean Air Lines flight that was hijacked to North Korea, was being deprived of physical freedom without legal grounds, the report says.
The group arrived at the opinion at a meeting held in November, but the decision was not made public until this month.
Hwang's status following the hijacking remained unknown until 2001, when the mother of abducted South Korean flight attendant Seong Kyeong-hee met her daughter at a reunion in the North, according to Hwang In-cheol, a South Korean activist and son of Hwang Won.
Seong's mother was able to confirm for the first time Hwang's father was safe at a location, which about a decade later was identified as a place "120 miles from Sinuiju, and 60 miles from Pyongyang."
In 2006, the North Korean Red Cross said they could "not confirm" whether Hwang's father was dead or alive.
Hwang In-cheol has said he has confirmation from sources his father remains alive. In 2013, the activist attempted to bring him home, but the plan was scuttled following North Korea's third nuclear test.
On Saturday, WGAD said the continued arbitrary detention of Hwang Won is in violation of Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The working group also said it is unlikely Hwang was willingly staying in North Korea, a challenge to North Korean government claims.
Moon has previously said he looked forward to "concrete and practical discussions" with Pyongyang.