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  • "Korean War POWs Detained in North Korea" refer to the tens of thousands of South Korean soldiers who were captured by the North Korean and Chinese forces during the Korean War but were not returned during the prisoner exchanges under the 1953 Armistice Agreement. Most are presumed dead but the South Korean government estimates some 560 South Korean POWs still survive in North Korea. The unaccounted South Korean POW issue has been in dispute since the Armistice in 1953. North Korea continues to deny it holds these South Korean POWs. Interest in this issue has been renewed since 1994, when Lt. Cho Chang-ho, a former South Korean soldier presumed to have been killed in the war, escaped from North Korea. As of 2008, 79 former South Korean soldiers have escaped from North Korea. There have also been reports that several hundred American POWs may not have been returned by North Korea. But the vast majority of unaccounted POWs are South Koreans.