NARKN News 2006.07.03 

“It took everything I could not to weep, listening to her ”.

from the White House press briefing of President Bush and Prime Minister Koizumi 

The East Room 

June 29, 2006 

11:33 A.M. EDT 


President Bush: The North Korean issue is one, obviously, that's got everybody's attention now. And we discussed
this issue in length. We both agree that it's very important for us to remain united in sending a clear
message to the North Korean leader that, first of all, launching the missile is unacceptable. There have been no
briefings as to what's on top of the missile. He hasn't told anybody where the missile is going. He has an
obligation, it seems like to me, and the Prime Minister, that there be a full briefing to those of us who are
concerned about this issue as to what his intentions are. It makes sense, doesn't it? It's a reasonable thing for
somebody to do. 

We talked about the six-party talks, and to make sure we remain bound up in sending a clear message to the leader
of North Korea. I also talked about one of the most touching moments of my presidency, when the mom of the
abducted daughter came to the Oval Office and talked to me about what it was like to have a young daughter abducted
by the North Koreans. And it really broke my heart. I told the Prime Minister it was -- it was a moving moment for
me. I just could not imagine what it would be like to have somebody have taken, you know, my daughter -- one of my
daughters -- and never be able to see her again. And the woman showed such great courage, Mr. Prime Minister, when
she came and shared her story with me. It took everything I could not to weep, listening to her. 

It also reminded me about the nature of the regime -- what kind of regime would kidnap people, just take them off
offshore, you know; what kind of person would not care about how that woman felt. 

  And so we talked about the need to work together to bring a resolution to this issue about nuclear weapons. And I
reminded the Prime Minister -- he didn't need reminding, but I'm going to share with him once again my deep concern
about the human condition inside North Korea. He shares that condition -- after all, he's the Prime Minister of a
country that has suffered a lot as a result of abductions. So we spent time talking about abductions. 

NARKN News 2006.06.17

Diet passes North sanctions bill from The Japan Times: Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Diet passed a bill Friday that requires the government to impose economic sanctions on North Korea if Pyongyang
fails to make progress in addressing its human rights situation, notably resolving the fate of abducted

With the enactment, the government hopes to effect the eventual return of Japanese nationals abducted by North
Korean agents from the late 1970s to the early 1980s and promote international cooperation in resolving the issue.
Pyongyang, however, claims no Japanese abductees remain alive.

NARKN News 2006.04.27

■On Abduction of Foreign Citizens by North Korea(Congressional Hearing,USA)

Prof. Yoichi Shimada

Professor of International Politics at Fukui Prefectural University, Japan

Vice Chairman of the National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea (NARKN)

April 27th, 2006

House Committee on International Relations: Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific and the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations

At Least 12 Countries Affected

Mr. Chairman and Committee Members, thank you for giving me this precious opportunity to share my information and views on the North Korean abduction issue.

The Japanese government has officially recognized 11 cases involving 16 Japanese nationals who were abducted by North Korea. This figure, however, is just the tip of the iceberg. 

Along with violent kidnap, a number of people seem to have been lured to North Korea and then held. Although it’s hard to be certain, I estimate that over one hundred Japanese have been abducted.

In addition to these Japanese victims, there are numerous South Korean abductees, on whom Korean witnesses before this committee will later elaborate. 

North Korean defectors have told us that in 1976 Kim Jong-il issued a secret order to use foreign nationals more systematically and thereby improve the quality of North Korean spy activities. He dubbed it “localization of spy education.” Although abduction had been conducted consistently by the North, it was after this order that the kidnap operation went into high gear. 

At least eleven Japanese, including thirteen-year-old Megumi Yokota, were abducted in 1977 and 1978. Five South Korean high school students were also abducted in 1977 and 1978.

Four young Lebanese women were also kidnapped in 1978. One of them is still being held in North Korea. 

It was also confirmed that at least two Chinese women and one Thai woman were abducted by North Korea from Macau on the same night in 1978. All of them were in their early 20s. 

U.S. Army deserter Charles Robert Jenkins, who is now living in Japan, told us a Romanian woman named Dona was also kidnapped and forced to live in North Korea.

The Lebanese women, after having managed to escape, testified that they had been sent to a North Korean spy camp and given indoctrination lectures together with physical training, including Judo, Taekwondo, Karate, and eavesdropping exercises, among others. They recalled there had been 28 young female trainees in the camp, including three French, three Italians, two Hollanders, and other Western European and Middle Eastern looking women (Lebanese newspaper, El Nahar, November 9, 1979).

The renowned South Korean actress Choi Un-hee, who was abducted from Hong Kong in January 1978 and managed to escape in 1986, testified that in North Korea she had once exchanged brief words with a Jordanian woman.

Ms. Choi Un-hee also had heard about a French abductee lured by a “good-looking North Korean man.” North Korean ex-agent Kim Hyon-hee told a similar story in her memoirs. 

There is a case of five missing young women from Singapore in August 1978, four Singaporeans and a Malaysian, in which North Korean involvement is also highly suspected. Ms. Choi Un-hee said she had heard about the presence of Malaysian abductees.

It appears therefore that the countries affected by the North Korean abduction apparatus amount to at least 12: Japan, South Korea, Lebanon, China, Thailand, Romania, France, Italy, Holland, Jordan, Malaysia, and Singapore.

As this information becomes more widely available, I strongly urge those concerned -- governments, relatives and friends of missing persons -- to reexamine their cases in light of the North Korean connection if there is even a remote chance of its involvement. This is especially true for cases from 1977 and 1978 in which the missing persons were in their twenties or teenagers.

Objectives of Abduction

In attempting to recover Japanese missing persons I have also considered the question “Why do North Koreans abduct foreign citizens?” Six patterns emerge from the past cases. North Korea appears to abduct foreign citizens in order to:

1, eliminate hapless witnesses who happened to run into North Korean agents in action

2, steal victims’ identities and infiltrate agents back into the countries concerned 

3, force abductees to teach their local language and customs to North Korean agents

4, brainwash them into secret agents

5, utilize abductees’ expertise or special skills

6, use abductees as spouses for unusual residents in North Korea, especially to lone foreigners such as defectors or other abductees

Needless to say, these six patterns are not mutually exclusive. In fact, “multiple-utilization” may be rather common.

Among these objectives, the first is old one and was consistently performed practice. Numbers 2, 3, and 4 derive from Kim Jong-il’s above mentioned secret order in 1976, and contributed to his “localization of spy education.” Actress Choi Un-hee’s case falls into Number 5. The last, Number 6, is, so to speak, a crime-generates-new-crime category of deed.

Victim’s Release as “Verifiable Renunciation of Terrorism”

Considerable effort has been invested to learn why Pyongyang has not released most of its abduction victims. Megumi Yokota and other Japanese abductees have been confirmed to be forced to teach their own local language and customs to North Korean agents. So, if released, they would be able to identify Pyongyang's agents operating in Japan and elsewhere.

This I believe is the principal reason why North Korea is refusing to release them. In other words, if North Korea makes a decision to stop terrorist training and withdraw all secret operatives and sleeper cells hiding in various places in the world, then it could release all their teachers -- abducted foreigners -- at once. The very fact that North Korea refuses to release these abductees is a sure sign that it has no intention of abandoning terrorism.

I think it is exactly the right approach to demand verifiable dismantlement of nuclear programs as a prerequisite for any financial aid to North Korea. By the same token, the “verifiable renunciation of terrorism” should also be demanded as a prerequisite for any financial aid. The release of the abductees is an indispensable factor in this renunciation process.

In short, so long as the abduction issue remains unresolved, we cannot help but assume that North Korea will not abandon its terrorist programs. We should act accordingly.

Children Abducted by North Korea

Megumi Yokota is not the only 13-year-old child abducted by North Korea. There is another 13-year-old victim, a Japanese boy named Takeshi Terakoshi. 

Takeshi disappeared from a fishing boat along with his two uncles in 1963. According to a defector, the fishing boat was rammed by a North Korean spy ship in Japanese waters. North Koreans carried off the three Japanese fishermen to eliminate witnesses.

The incident was confirmed as a North Korean abduction case when one of the uncles managed to send a letter to Japanese relatives in 1987.

Takeshi's mother at first worked hard with other victims’ families to recover her son. But Takeshi was forced to declare he had not been abducted but instead “rescued” by a North Korean ship and that he is living “happily” in North Korea. Accordingly, his mother’s attitude changed and she now asks the Japanese government not to include her son's name on the victims list.

The mother has been allowed occasionally to visit Takeshi at his apartment in Pyongyang. She is obviously afraid of antagonizing the North Korean authority and of being denied further entry into the country.

In my opinion, the Japanese government should have officially recognized Takeshi and his two uncles as abduction victims many years ago. Not doing so sent the wrong message to North Korea. The North Korean ship “rescuing” Takeshi is just a ridiculous story. Even if it were true, which it is not, rescuing a 13-year-old boy and not notifying his parents for several decades is nothing but kidnapping.

Three sons of one of Takeshi's uncles, who is claimed to be dead by North Korea, are active members of the Abductees Families Association and have demanded that the Japanese government officially recognize the case as abduction.

The U.S. House resolution condemning North Korean abduction as “acts of terrorism and gross violation of human rights,” which passed the House of Representatives on July 11, 2005, rightly referred to Takeshi’s case as follows:

Whereas North Korean agents have abducted children, causing unimaginable anguish to parents who live decades with the uncertainty of what has happened to their child, as in the cases of Takeshi Terakoshi, a thirteen-year-old boy kidnapped from a fishing boat with his two uncles. . .

This resolution has given us great encouragement. Here, I want to say Thank You again. 

I have pointed out earlier that at least five South Korean high school students were also abducted by North Korea. There are several suspected cases involving Japanese high school students too. In my opinion, it is a mistake to assume that North Korea’s abduction of children is limited only to the Japanese and the South Koreans.

Marriages with a Hidden Purpose: US Deserters and Abducted Women

Charles Robert Jenkins, who deserted to North Korea in January 1965 when he was a U.S. Army Sergeant, testified after his repatriation to Japan in 2004 that he shared his harsh life in North Korea, on an on-and-off basis, with three other alleged U.S. Army deserters: Pfc. James Joseph Dresnok (August 1962), Pvt. Larry Allen Abshier (May 1962) and Cpl. Jerry Wayne Parrish (December 1963).

All four American deserters married foreign abductees in North Korea.

Ms. Hitomi Soga, who was a young woman when she was abducted from Japan, married Mr. Jenkins. She gave birth to two daughters who are now studying hard and enjoying campus life in Japan but Hitomi’s mother, who was abducted along with her, is still missing. North Korea has claimed that her mother’s entry into the North had not been documented and they say they knew nothing about her. Their claim is entirely without credibility. Hitomi herself was a victim of abduction and is still the daughter of another abduction victim. 

Ms. Siham Shraiteh, a Lebanese, who was deceived by a fictitious job offer in Japan and taken to North Korea in 1978, married Mr. Parrish and gave birth to three sons who are living in North Korea. Mr. Parrish died in August 1997.

Ms. Anocha Panjoy, a Thai who was kidnapped from Macau in 1978, married Mr. Abshier. Mr. Abshier died in 1983. Several years later, Ms. Anocha said to Mr. Jenkins that she was about to remarry a German. That was the last time Mr. Jenkins saw her.

A Romanian woman named Dona married Mr. Dresnok. Dona told Mr. Jenkins the following story just before her death.

Her mother was a Russian and her father a Romanian Army officer. She had once married an Italian. After divorce, she entered an Italian art school using her alimony to pay for it. 

Subsequently another Italian man approached her and asked her to go to Hong Kong via Russia and North Korea to do some preparatory work for her possible solo art exhibition. She was then left stranded in North Korea and the Italian man disappeared. 

Dona died from lung cancer in January 1997. As she had asked not to be buried in North Korean soil, Mr. Dresnok had her body cremated. Mr. Dresnok then remarried a woman named Dada, who is half North Korean and half Togolese.

Mr. Jenkins has suggested the North’s spymasters would quite probably consider using the children of foreign couples and children of mixed race as secret agents, especially for work around U.S. military bases overseas where mixed race marriage is not uncommon.

Mr. Jenkins said that he felt depressed when North Korean authorities ordered his daughters to enter the Pyongyang Foreign Language College. As you may be aware, Kim Hyon-hee, a perpetrator of the Korean Airline bombing in 1987, was picked out as a secret agent by the authorities when she was a student of that college.

This and other evidence indicates that women abducted by North Korea seem to be tormented by a double agony. First, as a young adult, each woman’s promising life in her own country is suddenly destroyed by the kidnapping. Then these victims become the mothers of children who, in turn, are forced to become secret agents of North Korea, the regime she detests.

Beijing Obstructs Rescue Efforts

Beijing continues to hunt down hapless North Korean refugees and drive them back to Kim Jong-il’s torture chambers in violation of the U.N. Refugee Convention, of which it is a signatory. Among those forcibly sent back, there must have been, are, and will be abducted foreign nationals, their family members, and people who have valuable information on abductees’ whereabouts.

So, I have to say that the Chinese authorities are systematically obstructing our efforts to recover abducted victims.

Moreover, Beijing appears to make no effort to rescue its own abducted nationals. Let me give you an example.

Two Macau residents, 20 year old Ms. Hong Leng-ieng and 22 year old Ms. So Mio-chun, were abducted by North Korean agents on July 2, 1978. Macau was a Portuguese colony at the time but fell back into Beijing’s control in 1999. The two abductees therefore are Chinese nationals now. Their family members also are Chinese nationals.

My colleagues and I were able to confirm this case as abduction through various interviews. For example, South Korean actress Choi Un-hee who was kidnapped from Hong Kong in January 1978 and succeeded to escape in 1986, testified that she temporarily lived with Ms. Hong Leng-ieng at a so-called “guest house” in Pyongyang. 

 Ms. Choi Un-hee remembered that Ms. Hong’s Christian name was “Maria.” We asked family members of Ms. Hong about this name. They knew that she had baptized as a Catholic but did not know her Christian name. They ran into the church to which she had belonged and found out that her baptized name in fact was “Maria.”

Ms. Choi Un-hee said that in Pyongyang, Ms. Hong had been forced to teach Chinese language.

Our organization tried to inform the staff of the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo about the abduction status of their citizen but they refused to meet. Therefore, we mailed written materials on the case to the Chinese Embassy. There has been no response at all. They have just ignored us.

Beijing is not only obstructing rescue efforts of abducted foreigners by sending refugees back to North Korea but it is cold-bloodedly deserting its own nationals held in North Korea. Is this kind of regime qualified to hold the Olympic Games?

Were the world degenerate enough to adopt a refugee hunt as an official sport, China would be the most suitable place to hold the event. And, no doubt, team China would win the Gold Medal. But common sense tells us that Beijing is not an appropriate place for the Olympic Games so long as it continues to brutally hunt down North Korean refugees.

Referring to North Korea, it has been said that a system where you can't live but you cannot leave is the definition of hell. Yes, it is, and Beijing is the co-manager of that hell. Chinese communist leaders should be ashamed of themselves.

Regime Change through Economic Squeeze

I’ve long since come to the conclusion that regime change is the only way to resolve the abduction issue, and the nuclear issue and missile issue, for that matter. Feckless half measures won’t work.

The question, therefore, is how to achieve regime change.

There is no shortcut to victory. In my view an economic squeeze is the key. In this, not only Pyongyang should be pressured, but also Beijing.

To this end, the financial sanctions launched by the United States last September are exactly the right move. Those sanctions are targeting, among others, Chinese banks joining hands with Pyongyang. It is my hope that the United States will ratchet up these measures and that other countries will follow the U.S. lead.

The Japanese government, under the strong leadership of Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe, recently has strengthened economic pressure against North Korea using the various tools at hand. This has been encouraging.

Two years ago, the Japanese National Diet passed two important bills. The first is the Revised Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Law that enables the government to halt trade and monetary remittances to any country if the government judges that "it is necessary for the maintenance of the peace and safety of our country."

The second is a bill that would allow the government to prevent specified vessels from entering Japanese ports. Japan now can ban the entry not only of North Korean ships, but any ship, say a Chinese or even a Japanese flag vessel which stops at North Korean ports, if the Prime Minister in his discretion decides to do so. 

In my opinion, the implementation of this powerful tool is long overdue. Now is the time for an all-out economic squeeze.

Do I have a message for Kim Jong-il? No, I have none. He is hopeless. I just want him to fall into the ash heap of history as soon as possible. 

But I have a message for the people surrounding him: Eliminate Kim Jong-il and secure the safety and freedom of the abductees, their family members, their friends, their friends’ friends. That is, for all except Kim Jong-il and his henchmen. Then North Koreans can expect not only the lifting of sanctions but also tremendous financial aid from all over the world.

Thank you.

NARKN News 2006.03.20

■ Family members of the Chinese abducted victim meets with Ms. Choi Un-hee. 

On March 18, 2006, family members of the Chinese victim abducted by North Korea met with Ms. Choi Un-hee, returned South Korean abductee, at a hotel in Seoul. This meeting was made possible through the support and introduction by NARKN. 

The visiting discussants were Hong Leng-chun (younger brother) and the father (from his personal request the name is not made public) of Ms. Hong Leng-ieng (born in 1957) who disappeared in Macao on July 2, 1978. Ms. Choi Un-hee had testified of seeing and talking to Ms. Hong many times in a so-called “guest house” at the outskirts of Pyongyang in a book published in 1988. 

Ms. Hong is also known for disappearing together--the same day July 2, 1978--with the Thai national and then Macao resident Ms. Anocha Panjoy who was confirmed of being abducted by North Korea through other testimonies made by former abducted victim Ms. Hitomi Soga and Mr. Jenkins. From this unusual connection between the two, the case of Ms. Hong’s disappearance has raised the strong possibility of also being a case of abduction by North Korea. 

Vice-Chairman Tsutomu Nishioka of NARKN met with Ms. Choi Un-hee in Seoul last year (December 13, 2005) to interview on the details regarding this issue. Based on this record, Secretary General of the AFVKN Teruaki Masumoto and Nishioka flew to Macao this January 13th to clarify with the family members of Ms. Hong on the facts.

It turned out that the profiles and the detailed information matched the understanding of the families on Ms. Hong’s disappearance and it became clear that she was abducted as well. This episode is also reported in our past news and it was then that the family members of Ms. Hong requested to meet with Ms. Choi Un-hee in person through the mediation of the NARKN. The meeting between the two parties in Seoul on March 18, 2006 was the result of this process. 

The meeting was accompanied by NARKN Vice-Chairmen, Nishioka and Yoichi Shimada, as interpreters. The meeting proceeded as follows:

First the two family members thanked Ms. Choi for being friends back then with Ms. Hong in North Korea and that they were honored to meet her in person. They produced several family photos of young Ms. Hong and Ms. Choi, after looking at these photographs, clearly stated “it was her (Ms. Hong). No doubt.” She added Ms. Hong’s face looked just like the father’s. 

Ms. Choi remembers Ms. Hong saying that her “father was a school teacher in Mainland China” and “the occupation of Ms. Hong’s mother was sewing and her younger brother went to school.” The father and brother replied that it was accurate and also the other description that Ms. Choi cited about Ms. Hong matched their memories as well. 

There was one point that could not been clarified in the earlier meeting in January between Nishioka and the relatives of Ms. Hong, which was about whether Ms. Hong’s Christian name was “Maria” or not. Back then, the family members knew that she had baptized to be Catholic but did not know what her Catholic name was. After confirming with the church she belonged to, the family found out that her name indeed was “Maria.” It is now clear that Ms. Choi knew personal information about Ms. Hong, which even the family did not know of back then, confirming that she had been abducted. 

During the process of confirming the description of Ms. Hong, the younger brother was fighting with emotion —-evidently remembering his sister—- sometimes choked by tears. 

Ms. Choi encouraged the family that “Ms. Hong must be alive and doing well praying everyday that someday she will be free and reunite with her family.” The two relatives of Ms. Hong also replied repeatedly that they “do believe that she is alive and want to meet her soon.” She also told some episodes on Ms. Hong while they knew each other in North Korea. The following are the points first revealed this time:

- Ms. Hong said she was learning Korean and teaching Chinese though did not specify to whom she was teaching.

- Both Ms. Hong and Ms. Choi were under stress and had stomach problems. So, they often went walking after lunch to help promote digesting process. That was when the two met hiding from the guards. Ms. Hong brought some alcohol and snacks hidden under her dress and they often drank behind the big rocks and talked frankly on many things. 

- Ms. Hong talked to Ms. Choi that she once attended one of Kim Jong-Il’s secretive parties and had been promised from Kim himself that he would arrange a good marriage for her. 

Ms. Choi continued that she wanted to meet with the family members of Ms. Hong much earlier when she published her book in 1988. She recalled that some news writers from South Korea went to Macao to interview them yet the family rejected the interview. She asked why they could not meet the interviewer. The family members replied that it was a sensitive era. There were many incidents back then like the Korean Airline (KAL) bombing, the Langoon bombing, as well as the escape of Ms. Choi from North Korea. Therefore they met with the news writer but refused to take the interview. A half year later, they tried to contact the news writer again, but to no avail, they said. 

NARKN News 2006.02.07

Recent survey shows 71% of Japanese support stronger approaches by their government when negotiating with North Korea 

According to a survey conducted by the Nikkei Shimbun (Newspaper), the Japanese public who supports stronger position when negotiating with North Korea — including the option of economic sanctions— has risen 4 points to a significant 71%.

The past polls conducted by other television and newspaper media have consistently shown a high percentage of support (60 through 75%) by the Japanese people in imposing economic sanctions against North Korea. This recent research by Nikkei has proved the public support for sanctions remains strong. 

In comparison, the percentage of those who think a negotiation through “engagement and humanitarian aid” is effective have decreased to 18% with a 2 point reduction from the last poll. 

NARKN News 2006.1.30

Film on abductee Megumi Yokota wins prize at U.S. film festival

(Kyodo, Jan.28) _ A U.S. documentary film chronicling North Korea’s abduction of Megumi Yokota and depicting her family's agony won an award for best documentary feature at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, on Friday. 

The 85-minute film "Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story," directed by Chris Sheridan and Patty Kim and based on interviews with abductees' families and other materials, was honored with the Audience Sparky Award for Best Documentary Feature. 

The film depicts what Shigeru Yokota and his wife Sakie have been through since their 13-year-old daughter's 1977 abduction by North Korean agents and their campaign to enlist the Japanese government's help in rescuing her. 

The whereabouts of Megumi Yokota remain unaccounted for. Pyongyang has said she died in North Korea, but Tokyo rejects their claim as untrustworthy and is pressing the North to return her and other abduction victims to Japan. 

The film festival is held annually to introduce short-reel films produced mainly by independent movie companies. It selects winning entries for more than 20 award categories, and the chosen films will be presented at special screenings in New York, Los Angeles and other locations after the festival. 



Park City, Utah A film documenting the kidnapping of a 13-year-old Japanese girl by North Korean spies has won the prestigious Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2006 Slamdance Film Festival. 

"ABDUCTION The Megumi Yokota Story" beat out several other documentaries for the award, which was announced on Friday, January 27th at a ceremony closing the festival. “The audience award was the best we could have hoped for,” said Chris Sheridan, who directed the film along with his wife Patty Kim. “It shows us that not only the festival programmers liked the film, but the audiences loved it as well.”

The film, which screened twice during the festival, played to packed houses and was oversold. The audiences' emotional response to the tragic and moving story created major buzz during the festival. The film also received favorable reviews from critics including the Los Angeles Times, which called it one of the best films in Park City. The Audience Award is voted on by viewers and tallied at the end of the festival.

ABDUCTION tells the haunting and mysterious story of Megumi Yokota, who was taken while walking home from school in 1977. The emotionally-charged film follows her family who’ve been struggling for nearly 30 years to bring her home. Jane Campion, whose film THE PIANO won three Oscars, is the Executive Producer. She says the film is “beautifully-told, mysterious, gripping and moving.”

ABDUCTION is produced in association with the BBC.

Slamdance website www.slamdance.com.

ABDUCTION website www.safarimedia.net

For more info, please contact Yuko Kawabe, tel: 703-350-3616

NARKN News 2006.01.18

On January 18, 2006, representatives from AFVKN, NARKN, and the Parliamentarian League for Early Repatriation of Abductees met with Deputy Cabinet Secretary Seiji Suzuki at the Cabinet Abduction Issue Communication & Coordination Room. After this meeting, the representatives met with the Chief of Security Bureau, Takehito Kobayashi at the National Police Agency and submitted a request letter addressed to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Iwao Uruma, Secretary of the National Police Agency.

In these meetings, new information was exchanged regarding the Leftist extremist group “Japan Red Army faction” who once high jacked a Japanese Airplane and escaped to North Korea. The spouses of these Leftist group members are accused of cooperating in terrorist plots to lure Japanese tourists and students in Europe and bring them into North Korea. The Rescue Movement told that Ms. Fumiyo Saito who is the older sister of Mr. Kaoru Matsuki— one of the victims of the European route abduction scheme— will soon place criminal charges on the two female suspects, Yoriko Mori and Sakiko Kuroda. Yoriko Mori appears on a photograph with Kaoru Matsuki before he disappeared. Both suspects, Mori and Kuroda are now residing in North Korea, but sources say that they are planning to return to Japan sooner than later. 

■Excerpts of the meetings with Deputy Cabinet Secretary and the Chief of Security Bureau, National Police Agency.

Comments by Seiji Suzuki (Deputy Cabinet Secretary):

Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe has mentioned the necessity to “find ways to make it disadvantageous for North Korea to delay the process of solving this abduction issue.” We, as a Cabinet, will work accordingly and make it harder for North Korea to tell lies and intentionally prolong the bilateral negotiation process. 

Regarding the request received from the AFVKN and NARKN to impose economic sanctions against the North; we have asked more governmental agencies than before to consider and consolidate the impact of unilateral economic sanctions if they were to be implemented. The Defense Agency, Ministry of Finance, and the Environment Agency joined in this process. We have strongly urged them so the response would be different this time. We will aggregate the report hopefully during January. This will support the Foreign Ministry officials in charge of negotiations with North Korea. 

Comments by Takehito Kobayashi, Chief of Security Bureau National Police Agency

At a press conference early this year, Iwao Uruma, Secretary of the National Police Agency has made a statement regarding the abduction issue that, “this year, we must make a difference.” We are working according to this direction. 

At the year end and the beginning of 2006, we have acquired crucial intelligence that could lead in pressuring North Korea harder. We will reassess our investigation records based on this new intelligence we acquired.

The recent news on Shin Gwan-su who is alleged of being the North Korean operative in charge of conducting the abduction here in Japan has shed new light on the whole investigation process. On January 12, 2006, we have assembled all the chief investigators in each related prefectures and gave orders to reevaluate this case. There will be new evidence as well as outcomes from this reevaluation and we are willing to press charges on other additional cases. 

Moreover, the names of the group members who conducted the abduction here in Japan are being specified, we are getting orders from above to work on this seriously. We are expecting significant progress. We hope to contribute in mounting pressure on North Korea. 

Regarding the cases of potential abduction; we have already received reports and requests of over 30 missing cases from families and friends. Dealing with these claims is simply the duty of the police and we are in full swing reviewing the suspicious cases.

We now understand that the operatives who have conducted the abduction here in Japan are much limited in number than we expected. I think we can identify many more cases. 

Furthermore, there is a possibility that the Leftist extremists Mori and Kuroda come back to Japan from North Korea. We hope to charge them not only on violation of the passport law, but conduct tough investigation on their commitment to the abduction cases. We do what we have to do. And there may be some people involved who talk more freely now than when they were active in the past.

To these comments, the AFVKN has responded by saying that they were “encouraged by the statements made by Chief Cabinet Secretary, Shinzo Abe that there needs to be ways to punish North Korea for delaying the negotiations on the abduction issue and also by Police Agency chief Uruma who also said that they are determined to make a difference this year.” 

NARKN News 2006.1.15

■Teruaki Masumoto (Secretary General of AFVKN) and Tsutomu Nishioka (Permanent Vice-Chairman of NARKN) meets with family members of a Macao China national victim abducted by North Korea. 

Teruaki Masumoto and Tsutomu Nishioka met with family members of a potential abductee whose nationality is Macao China. As a result of this meeting, Ms. Hong Leng-ieng has been verified of being abducted by North Korea. AFVKN and NARKN will now work together with the family and demand the return of Ms. Hong Leng-ieng. 


# Meeting Date: January 13, 2006 6PM to 8PM 

# Meeting Place: A hotel in Macao 

# Victim Profile: 

- Hong Leng-ieng (Female) 

- Born 1957

- Disappeared on July 2, 1978 in Macao

- Worked as a Jewelry Shop Staff at a hotel in Macao

- On the same day, her colleague So Mio-chun and the Thai abductee Ms. Anocha Panjoy disappeared from the scene as well.

- A witness and a South Korean returned abductee Ms. Choi Un-hee has testified of seeing Ms. Hong in North Korea.

# Family Members who met with Japanese Rescue Movement delegation: 

Hong Leng-chun (younger brother)

The father (from his personal request, the name is not made public) 

Excerpts from the meeting:

Nishioka first conveyed the testimony he heard in South Korea from Ms. Choi Un-hee to the family members of Ms. Hong Leng-ieng and confirmed on the details. As a result, with the exception of the information regarding the person who was abducted together with Ms. Hong, all the factors matched with the families understanding.

The father and younger brother of Ms. Hong said, “Judging from what we have heard today and what is stated by Ms. Choi, there is a strong possibility that our loved one has been kidnapped.” The younger brother also said, “As brothers who have their older sisters held captive in North Korea, Mr. Masumoto and I share the same tragedy. From this regards, I have been waiting to meet Mr. Masumoto and work together to bring our sisters from North Korea safely.” 

Moreover, Ms. Hong’s father stated, “I want to convey my deepest sympathy towards Mr. Masumoto who has long been fighting to bring back his older sister. Also, we appreciate Mr. Nishioka for giving us this quite valuable information on my daughter.” 

Masumoto explained how rescue movement has garnered more and more support not only in Japan, but in South Korea as well as in other nations and how the international network is being woven. 

The two family members responded by saying that they fully share the objective, yet at this point they would rather “keep quiet and avoid holding any press conference.” Masumoto asked if they were concerned about the danger that might fall upon their daughter when they spoke out. The two men didn’t want to elaborate on that point. 

However, the two requested that they hope to continue the sharing of information with the Rescue Movement in Japan. 

●The consistencies and the discrepancies between the recognition of the family members of Ms. Hong and the testimony made by the South Korean abducted victim Ms. Choi. 

・The testimony by Ms. Choi mentions that Ms. Hong told that her “mother and younger brother lives in Macao” and her “father was a professor at a university in mainland China and could not come with the family when escaping to Macao.” This testimony totally matches with the description of the Hong family.

・The occupation of Ms. Hong’s mother being “sewing” also matches the description. 

・The occupation of Ms. Hong’s father also is close. Although he was not a teacher at a university, he had graduated a university and taught in a Junior High school. ※ In Ms. Choi’s book published in 1988, she writes “Ms. Hong’s father had taught in mainland China.” 

・The testimony that Ms. Hong’s religion was Catholic also matches. The family members did not know the Christian name of “Maria”, so further research is to be done on this point. 

・The testimony of Ms. Hong being a volleyball player in high school is also correct. She had played volleyball for three years in high school and been selected in the Macao team. 

※This detailed information is not written in the book written by Ms. Choi.

・Ms. Choi testified of Ms. Hong saying that she “wanted to study in a University, but to pay for her younger brother to go to University she decided to work instead.” This matches with the family members understanding and she had asked her mother for permission to work in order to pay for the younger brother’s tuition.

・The job, jewelry store staff, is correct. 

・The testimony that Ms. Hong was working as a “tour guide for side-business” almost matches. She was selling tickets for dog races. However, one week before her disappearance, she told her mother that someone has asked her and her colleague to be a tour guide. According to the younger brother’s memory, this might have been the first time she has ever done a tour guide. 

・Her age at the abduction, 20 years old, perfectly matches. 

・The only information that does not match with the family members understanding was the person Ms. Hong was kidnapped along with. According to Ms. Choi’s testimony, Ms. Hong had said that she “guided two self proclaimed Japanese men to the beach and met with a woman who looked 10 years older” than she was. She had never met her before and she worked for a bar. However, the person who disappeared on the same day with Ms. Hong was her colleague So Mio-chun who worked at the same jewelry store. Ms. So was 22 years old then. The two families knew each other before and when they both disappeared. The families called each other back then so there is no mistake that they disappeared together. According to the assumption of the younger brother of Ms. Hong, the woman might be the Thai abductee Ms. Anocha Panjoy.

●The testimony of Ms. Choi regarding Ms. Hong— Interviewed by Nishioka on December 13, 2005 in Seoul

・In Autumn 1978, Ms. Choi saw Ms. Hong at an entrance of a lodging facility near Kumgangsan Mountain. She was with another female from Macao.

・Between June 1979 through September 20th, Ms. Choi often talked with Ms. Hong who lived in Pyongyang Tongbukri guest house 4. She lived in a facility next to where Ms. Hong was. 

・Ms. Choi also had the chance to talk with Ms. Hong during January 22, 1982 through March 8th.

・Then Ms. Choi learned that Ms. Hong was teaching Chinese to North Korean agents

・After 1983, since Ms. Choi’s work on movies with film director Shin became busy, she had not talked or met with Ms. Hong ever since.

・Usually called her “Miss. Kon” and never knew her first name 

・Ms. Hong was a Catholic and her Christian name was Maria. In 1982, Ms. Choi went to the forest with her and was baptized. She said that she was not qualified to baptize, but under these circumstances, she could do so.

・Ms. Hong’s mother and younger brother lived in Macao. Her father was a College professor in mainland China and could not come with the family when escaping to Macao.

・The mother was making a living through sewing

・Ms. Choi was a volleyball player in High School

・After graduating high school, she wanted to go to University yet she wanted her younger brother to go and she decided to work instead

・Ms. Hong worked for a jewelry shop and did tour guide as a side business

・In the summer when she was 20, she guided tow men who claimed to be Japanese to the beach. There she met a woman who she never met before. The two men put the two women on a boat and after rowing to the shore they were forcefully put on a bigger ship and brought to North Korea

・According to Ms. Hong, there was the other woman looked 10 years older and worked for a bar. She was a woman of the world. After brought to North Korea, the older woman strongly protested with the officials. Contrary, Ms. Hong kept on crying. After being abducted, the two were brought to a foreign currency shop near the Embassy area to buy everyday materials. Ms. Hong jumped in the facility of the Indonesian Embassy for help yet was brought back to the North Korean authority. After this, Ms. Hong parted with the other woman. 

・Ms. Choi never heard of a Thai female from Ms. Hong

・After brought to North Korea, Ms. Hong developed a stomach problem. She also had uterine surgery. 

・Ms. Hong also said to Ms. Choi that she participated in Kim Jong-il’s secretive parties. At a party Kim Jong-il said he would wed her to a good guy. 

・Ms. Choi said that if Ms. Hong’s family members were to come to South Korea, she is happy to meet them. And she would like to rescue Ms. Hong. 

NARKN News 2005. 12.24

In Hibiya Public Hall, families from 4 nations gathered at the 8th Abduction Rescue National Assembly to demand the return of their abducted family members.

On December 22, 2005, the 8th Abduction Rescue National Assembly was held at the Hibiya Public Hall in Tokyo. This time, family members from Thai, Lebanon, and South Korea joined the Japanese rescue movement and the crowd of over 2,000 persons has supported the resolution adopted in this event with great applaud.

The MC for this event was the well-acclaimed journalist Ms. Yoshiko Sakurai. Mr. Shigeo Iizuka (Vice Chairman of AFVKN) has given the opening remarks by stating “Mr. Shigeru Yokota (Chairman of AFVKN) could not attend the National Assembly today because of health issues caused by overwork. The families are now aging and we must strive for the immediate return of all the abducted victims.” 

Next to this opening address, Rep. Takeo Hiranuma (Chairman of the Committee of Congressional Members to Act for the Early Repatriation of Japanese Victims Abducted by North Korea) criticized the lukewarm attitude of the Japanese government on this issue while Shoichi Nakagawa (Minister of the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery) and Akiko Yamanaka (Parliamentary Secretary of Human Rights in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) who were special guests to the event have promised their unflinching commitment in resolving this issue.

After these speeches by the special guests, the following men and women including the family members invited from abroad spoke out for the immediate return of all the victims. They are; Ms. Hitomi Soga (returned Japanese abductee), Mr. Sukam Panjoy (older brother of the Thai abductee, Ms. Anocha), Ms. Haidar (mother of the Lebanese abductee, Ms. Siham), Mr. Kim Song-ho (Korean War MIA/POW Families Association, former Chairman), Ms. Choi Uh-yong (South Korea Abducted Victim’s Families Association, Chairman), Mr. Ahn Myong-jin (former North Korean Special Operation agent).

Summarizing all the comments made by the victims and family members above, Mr. Tsutomu Nishioka (Vice Chairman of NARKN) has verified on the abduction by North Korea of nationals from 12 countries and the possibility that the numbers of the victims and the countries involved may increase. Therefore, Nishioka spoke of the necessity for each nation to work together and form an international alliance to resolve this tragedy caused by the North Korean dictatorship. And for Japan, he said, it is imperative to take the initiative and impose unilateral economic sanctions as well as show the stronger will of the nation to rescue all the victims. 

After this statement, Ms. Sakie Yokota (abducted victim Ms. Megumi Yokota’s mother) and Mr. Kazuhiro Araki (Investigation Commission on Missing Japanese Probably Related to North Korea, Chairman) gave a short message to the crowd. Mr. Teruaki Masumoto (Secretary General of AFVKN) introduced the contents of the recently opened broadcast radio program “Shiokaze (Sea Breeze)” directed toward the Japanese victim in North Korea. Lastly, Rep. Jin Matsubara (Committee of Congressional Members to Act for the Early Repatriation of Japanese Victims Abducted by North Korea, Acting Executive Director) read the resolution adopted in this National Assembly and was supported by a big round of applauds from the floor.

December 24, 2005 marks a full year since the Koizumi administration has publicly hinted on the necessity of imposing severe economic sanctions by stating, “If we do not see any immediate and sincere response by the North Korean government soon, we must conduct an even stronger action.” We believe that the abducted victims must be brought back as soon as possible and end this tragedy at once.

■National Assembly Resolution

Even at this moment, many abducted victims kept in North Korea are still wondering if they would ever return to their home countries and desperately hoping to be rescued.

In this National Assembly, we have invited family members from South Korea, Thai, and Lebano. South Korea has had 82, 959 victims during the Korean War and 486 victims after the War abducted by North Korea. These victims are still not known whether they are alive or not and moreover, with the testimony by Ms. Hitomi Soga, we have found that a Thai national Ms. Anocha Panjoy as well as Lebanese national Ms. Siham and Romanian, French, Maccao Chinese have also been kidnapped by North Korea. We declare to strengthen the international alliance to bring back all those victims safely to their home countries.

Furthermore, we are sure that there are more Japanese abductees than the 13 persons Kim Jong-Il admitted. We have heard the family members of the potential Japanese abducted victims speak today and we ask the Japanese government to continue the process of confirming these people as victims of abduction by North Korea. 

December 24, 2005 marks a full year since the current Japanese government has publicly hinted on the necessity of imposing economic sanctions by stating, “If we do not see any immediate and sincere response by the North Korean government soon, we must conduct an even stronger action.” North Korea is now responding by saying that the abduction issue is “already resolved” and the research outcomes of the remaining of Megumi Yokota being a “cook-up by the Japanese government.” These inhumane acts are something that is totally insincere, but the Koizumi administration has not decided on the implementation of sanctions.

Economic sanctions are the means to show that our nation is committed in resolving this issue. If we were to be reluctant in acting, we would send the wrong message that we are not willing to rescue our countrymen. Could we really bring back our people without showing our strong will as a nation?

We strongly ask our government that they stop all transfers of money, trade, and entry of ships from North Korea as economic sanctions. Take away the re-entry rights to Japan of the 6 senior members of the Japan-based pro-North Korean Association, “Chosen Soren”, who also are representatives of the North Korean rubberstamp People’s Supreme Assembly. We demand they be taken their privileges of re-entry into this nation and reconsider the other benefits the Chosen Soren and North Korea has been given by the Japanese authority. And continue to speed the process of acknowledging potential victims as formal abductees by North Korea.


Finally, we ask Kim Jong-Il to immediately return all the Japanese abductees! Return the South Korean abducted victims and the other nationals who they have abducted. Give up ambitions to acquire nuclear weapons as well as prepare for war and instead concentrate all their resources in helping ordinary people to survive.

December 22, 2005

8th Rescue Movement National Assembly Resolution, adopted by all participants

NARKN News 2005.12.24

December 24, 2005 marks a full year since the Koizumi administration has publicly hinted on the necessity of imposing economic sanctions against North Korea. On this day, the AFVKN and NARKN delivered the following statement. 

■Joint Statement of the AFVKN and the NARKN

December 24, 2005 marks a full year since the current Japanese government has publicly hinted on the necessity of imposing economic sanctions by stating, “If we do not see any immediate and sincere response from the North Korean authority soon, we must conduct an even stronger action.” However, the Koizumi administration has yet to resort to sanctions.

During this period, North Korea has responded by stating that the abduction issue is “already resolved” and the research outcomes of the remains of Megumi Yokota being a “frame-up” by the Japanese government. The NK-Japan bilateral talks have announced to be resumed soon, yet the mere fact that Pyongyang has agreed to return to the table does not mean they become sincere. Rather, it is to be more of a way to “buy time” judging from their past behaviors. 

We believe that imposing economic sanctions is a way to show that Japan is really committed in solving this issue. If remained hesitant, that would constitute a wrong message that we are not willing to rescue victims. Could we bring our people back without showing our determination as a nation?

We have repeatedly made clear our basic message, “Impose economic sanctions to bring back all the abductees”, in various rallies, sit-ins, and street appeals. We have recently held Big National Rallies in both Tokyo and Osaka where many people gathered. In these rallies, the aging family members have mentioned time after time that “we cannot wait any longer.” Incidentally, the Chairman of AFVKN, Mr. Shigeru Yokota has been hospitalized due to overwork.

We strongly ask our government that if we see no substantial progress in the bilateral talks started today, it stop all transfers of money, trade, and entry of ships to Japanese ports from North Korea as economic sanctions. Take away the re-entry rights of the 6 North Korean senior members of the Japan-based pro-North Korea Association “Chosen Soren” who also are representatives of the North Korean People’s Supreme Assembly, a rubberstamp body. We demand they be taken their privileges of re-entry into Japan and reconsider other benefits the “Chosen Soren” and North Korea has enjoyed in Japan without reciprocity. And continue to speed the process of acknowledging additional abductees.

Finally, we demand Kim Jong-Il to immediately release all the Japanese abductees! Repatriate the South Korean abductees and the other nationals abducted. Do away with ambition to acquire nuclear weapons and concentrate all the resources in helping their ordinary people in North Korea.

December 24, 2005

Shigeru Yokota, Chairman, Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea

Katsumi Sato, Chairman, National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea

NARKN News 2005.12.09

On December 9, 2005, members of the NARKN and AFVKN met with Ms. Humiko Saiga, the newly appointed Special Envoy for Human Rights Issues at the Cabinet Abduction Issue Communication & Coordination Room for about 30 minutes from 6:30 pm. 

Since the envoy also holds the post as Norway Ambassador, the Ambassador had to leave for Norway that day and the time was limited. Thus participants on our side were composed of executives who were in Tokyo at that time.

The participants were: Mr. Shigeo Iizuka (Vice chairman, AFVKN), Mr. Takuya Yokota (Deputy General Secretary, AFVKN), Ryutaro Hirata (Secretary General, NARKN) and from the Foreign Ministry, Humiko Saiga (Envoy for Human Rights Issues and Ambassador to Norway), Akitaka Saiki (Deputy Director-General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau).

The summary of the meeting is as follows:

The Envoy: I have experience working with human rights and humanitarian issues during my tenure as a UN Ambassador. I have seen and read the news regarding the problems in North Korea. Today, I have talked with Mr. Masumoto (Secretary General, AFVKN), Mr. Nishioka (Vice Chairman, NARKN), and Mr. Jay Lefkowitz (US Special Envoy for North Korea Human Rights) at the international conference held in Seoul. I would like to do my best to further promote the understanding and support on this issue from the international community.

Mr. Iizuka: We have been fighting with North Korea for a long time. Recently, we are sensing that this issue is receiving support from all over the world and that the North Korean abduction is now recognized as an international issue. We would like you to send a strong message to North Korea to raise pressure and help resolve this issue as soon as possible. 

The Envoy: I personally have deep feeling and sympathy towards the Yokota family. There are commissions in the UN dealing with Human Rights and also the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances. Now that the resolution on condemning North Korea will be on the table for the council to vote upon, I hope that the international society would look further into the conditions in North Korea and the abduction issue.

Mr. Iizuka: The UN Special Rapporteur, Mr. Vitit Muntabhorn has directly requested the submission of a full report on the abduction issue towards North Korea in the past. Now that the UN in general is preparing for a resolution, how is this different and how much of an effect will the condemning resolution have?

The Envoy: No legal binding is there, but it would strong political and moral message. This resolution will be the public document that all countries could quote from as an official one. It is effective for some countries. Yes it is true that some may ignore it. However, this resolution would clarify and convey to the international community how terrible the conditions are in North Korea. I think the resolution would be voted on any time next week. 

Mr. Yokota: All the U.S officials we have talked to recently told us that creating the position of the Special Envoy for Human Rights is not only necessary, but effective to pressure North Korea. The Six-Party Talks is a place to discuss mainly security issues; Michael Green, Senior Director for Asian Affairs in the NSC, told us the reason for setting the post of Special Envoy was to distinguish the issue of security and human rights so that North Korea could not balance-off and exchange them as bargaining chips. We believe it is important to invite Mr. Lefkowitz to Japan as early as possible and set meetings which would be good pressure to North Korea.

The Envoy: When I met with Mr. Lefkowitz this morning, we agreed to meet at New York City on January 2006. He said he would like to discuss detailed action plans.

Mr. Yokota: When we recently visited the U.S, not a few key figures told us that the financial sanctions are really effective. It seems that sanctions against the bank in Macau which cozy relationship with North Korea constituted good warning message.

The Envoy: I would like to consider the act of sanctions in a broader perspective. I will not directly deal with the normalization and sanctions decisions, but I will respond and act on the grounds of human rights