The South Korean government confirmed on Thursday that one South Korean hostage has been killed in Afghanistan.
"One of our citizens kidnapped in Afghanistan has been confirmed to have been killed on July 25," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho Hee-yong at a press briefing.
The government once again urged the kidnappers to immediately release the hostages and will continue to do utmost for the hostages' safe release, he added.
Local media said the victim was identified as Priest Bae Hyong- kyu, 42, male.
However, the spokesman didn't confirm the victim's identify.
A purported spokesman for the Taliban announced earlier that Taliban militants shot dead one of the South Korean hostages. He also warned to kill more hostages if Taliban prisoners are not released by 5:30 a.m. Seoul time Thursday (2030 GMT Wednesday).
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun had a conversation late Wednesday with his
Afghan counterpart over the phone and made an agreement to cooperate closely for an early and safe release of the hostages, local media reported.
Following the killing of South Korean hostage, the South Korean government on Thursday strongly condemned Afghanistan militants on killing a South Korean hostage.
The South Korean government and South Korean people strongly condemned the kidnapping and killing of innocent South Korean citizens and strongly demanded an immediate release of the South Koreans held by the militants, said a statement by the Presidential Office.
"The kidnappers should take all responsibilities for the death of South Korean citizen," said the statement, adding that South Korea will never tolerate the kidnapping and killing of innocent civilians.
The South Korean government will do its utmost to closely cooperate with the Afghan government and other parties in a bid to seek early and safe release of the hostages, the statement said.
The government expressed condolence to the families of the victim in the statement.
According to the Presidential Office, the South Korean government has decided to send a senior official as special envoy to Afghanistan to deal with the kidnapping. A delegation led by Vice Foreign Minister Cho Jung-pyo is now dealing with the kidnapping incident in Afghanistan.
A total of 23 South Koreans were seized by militants in Afghanistan on July 19.