Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Revised Romanization||Gim Seon-il|
|Hanja||金鮮一, sometimes also transliterated as 金善日|
Kim was fluent in Arabic, holding a graduate degree in that language from Seoul's Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in February 2003. He also had degrees in English and theology, and had hoped to become a Christian missionary in the Middle East. He arrived in Iraq on June 15, 2003.
On May 30, 2004, Kim was abducted in Fallujah — about 50 km (30 miles) west of Baghdad — by the Islamist group Jama'at al-Tawhid wa'l Jihad (in English, "Monotheism and Holy Struggle"), and held as a hostage. The group, which is led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, murdered him on or about June 22 when South Korea refused to meet the terrorists' demands that it cancel its plans to send 3,000 more troops to Iraq and withdraw the 660 military medics and engineers already there. (This would put South Korea behind only the United Kingdom in number of non-U.S. coalition troops in Iraq.)
Jama'at al-Tawhid wa'l Jihad had initially set a June 21 deadline in a videotape showing Kim pleading for his life. However, on June 22, after initial reports that the militants had given their hostage more time, Al-Jazeera television reported that they had received a videotape footage of Kim being decapitated by five men, like hostages Nick Berg in Iraq, Paul Johnson in Saudi Arabia, and Daniel Pearl in Pakistan. The report was subsequently confirmed by the South Korean government.
The president of Gana General Trading is said to have known about the kidnapping almost immediately, but he did not report it until after the videotape aired. He had consulted a lawyer, who argued that the situation must be dealt without government intervention if Kim was to be saved. Therefore, it is claimed that government officials had little time to react. However, there are also reports that a videotape of Kim in captivity, in which he appears calm and openly criticizes U.S. intervention in Iraq, was delivered to the Associated Press Television News offices in Baghdad at the beginning of June, and that on June 3, an AP reporter in Seoul contacted the South Korean Foreign Ministry asking if they knew of a missing person with a name sounding like Kim Sun-il's. 
The South Korean Ministry of Information and Communication has banned the Kim Sun-il execution video and is trying to prevent it from being spread.
His execution video was posted on a website hosted by HostingAnime. The company has defended the right to allow his execution to be shown.
- 2003 invasion of Iraq
- Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse
- Human rights situation in post-Saddam Iraq
- Fabrizio Quattrocchi
WARNING: The following links contain images, some of which involve graphic violence, that may be offensive and/or disturbing to some readers.
- http://www.hostinganime.com/iraqnews1 The site that al-Qaida first posted the pictures and video.
- http://www.hostinganime.com/iraqnews2 The site that al-Qaida first posted the pictures and video.
- http://www.ogrish.com/archives/kim_sunil_beheading_video.html The video of Kim's execution.
- http://www.ogrish.com/archives/exclusive_beheaded_body_image_of_korean_hostage_kim_sun_il.html Kim's Decapitated Body Found On Streets Near Fallujah
- http://www.shortfamilyonline.com/life/files/kim-sun-il/cj_36037.zip Another version of the execution video, from Consumption Junction.
- http://www.ogrish.com/ogrish-dot-com-korean-hostage-video.wmv The earlier video, released June 20, in which South Korea is given the June 21 deadline. The audio is of an English-speaking newscaster.
- http://www.ogrish.com/ogrish-dot-com-kim%20sun-il-before-beheading.jpg A still picture of Kim taken before his execution.
- http://www.ogrish.com/ogrish-dot-com-kim%20sun-il-before-beheading-2.jpg Another still picture of Kim before his execution.
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