March 10, 2009
Macau Abduction Victim taught Chinese to former North Korean terrorist Kim Hyon-Hui.
It has been revealed that former North Korean operative, Kim Hyon-Hui, learned Chinese from Ms. Hong Leng-Ieng, who was abducted by North Korea from Macau in 1978.
Kim Hyon-Hui said she, along with Kim Suk-Hui, another North Korean agent, learned Mandarin from Ms. Hong from June to August 1984 at the Yongsong No.40 “guest house” located in the north of Pyongyang.
“I got basic Chinese lessons from a Macau woman. That woman who taught me Mandarin was around five years older than me. Her name is “Miss Kong” (the Korean pronunciation of the Chinese character for “Hong”). She was a typical Chinese beauty. I heard she had been abducted from Macau. She told me she once had tried to escape from a detention center in North Korea but was recaptured. I’m sure she is the very woman Ms. Choi Un-Hee (a famous South Korean actress who was abducted but later escaped) noted she had met in North Korea.”
Kim Hyon-Hui revealed this information to Mr. Cho Gab-Je, a prominent South Korean journalist, in late February. She later identified Hong Leng-Ieng from a photograph provided by NARKN.
Representatives of NARKN, after an extensive investigation, gave a presentation on the case of Hong Leng-Ieng at the International Conference on the Reality of North Korean Abductions and Its Resolution held in Tokyo in December 2006. NARKN also provided a detailed report to the Chinese authorities.
Fundamentally, the governments of Japan, South Korea, and China should put the Abduction issue on the agenda of the Six-Party Talks and co-operatively mount pressure on North Korea to resolve it. This has not yet been done.
It is also regrettable that the Chinese government seems to have made no effort to rescue its own citizens despite clear evidence of their abduction and continuing detention by North Korea.
We sincerely hope, in the wake of this new revelation by Kim Hyon-Hui, keener interest of the international community will be given to the abduction of Macau residents including, first and foremost, by China.
NARKN News June 20, 2008
Comment on Recent Japan-NK Talks
Yoichi Shimada, Vice Chairman of NARKN
I could not help but be flabbergasted at the unprincipled and naive posture as I listened to Akitaka Saiki, the head of the East Asia and Pacific Affairs Department of the Foreign Ministry, report on the Japan-North Korea talks.
Needless to say, the person who is ultimately held responsible is none other than Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda. I have great sympathy for Mr. Saiki, who had to conduct a negotiation at the instruction of the top leader of the Japanese government, who has no talent other than appeasement. In the meeting with Mr. Saiki, I had an opportunity to speak. I said the following, in a nutshell:
"It would be an obvious imbalance for the Japanese government to give North Korea substantive benefit by immediately lifting sanctions in exchange for a promise for a reinvestigation of the abductees, which is a mere gesture at best."
"It is a grave mistake for the Japanese government to send a wrong signal on the pretense as if real progress were made on the abduction issue between Japan and North Korea at such an important time while the U.S. wonders whether or not it should de-list North Korea from the Terrorism Sponsoring States."
NARKN News June 17, 2008
June 17, 2008
An Urgent Appeal
Prime Minister of
On June 13th,
in the wake of Japan-North Korea talks in Beijing, the Japanese
government announced that it is going to lift Japan’s sanctions
“partially” in exchange for North Korean promise to
“re-investigate” the abduction of Japanese citizens without
clinging to its standard position that “the abduction issue has been
It is obvious that
North Korea changed its longstanding position and came to the
negotiating table to discuss the abduction issue only as a result of
pressure applied in recent years from both Japan and international
community. However, by proceeding with the lifting of sanctions
prematurely at a stage where repatriation of the abductees remains
unforeseeable, Japan’s unilateral easing of pressure on North Korea
would be inconsistent with the “action for action” principle and
is therefore unacceptable.
reinstatement of port visits by North Korean vessels, including large
freighter passenger ships such as the Man-gyong-bong, poses a problem
since the definition of “humanitarian goods” eligible to be
boarded remains unclear with the possible effect becoming a major
lifting, not a “partial” lifting of existing sanctions. This
approach cannot be tolerated, even if it is presented as a negotiating
technique. Even though the Japanese government maintains it has
not changed its policy, the explanation is not plausible.
There are reports
that procedures for reinstatement of the Man-gyong-bong’s Japanese
port visits were initiated several days before the reopening of the
recent Japan-North Korea negotiation in Beijing. If true, this
would be a very suspicious and mysterious development suggesting that
somehow the content of the Japanese position was leaked in advance to
the Kim Jong-il regime.
Our concern is that
Japan’s partial lifting of sanctions could accelerate the movement
in the United States for lifting North Korea from the list of state
sponsors of terrorism. If that happens, the likelihood increases
that North Korea would buy time by resorting to deception without
conducting an actual investigation that would bring about the return
of the abduction victims.
circumstances, we strongly urge the members of the Fukuda Government
to reinvigorate the government’s efforts and determination to
accomplish Japan’s original purpose of resolving the abduction issue
by bringing all the abductees home.
We urge the Japanese
Government to undertake the following measures:
- To sufficiently and intelligibly
explain to the Japanese people whether or not Japanese government
policy on the abduction issue has been changed.
- To refrain from lifting any
sanctions until North Korea conducts a satisfactory
“reinvestigation that leads to the repatriation of victims”.
- To impose tougher sanctions if
North Korea prolongs its investigation despite its promise;
- To advise the United States that
as long as the country of North Korea does not take concrete
action to allow repatriation of all of the abduction victims, it
is Japan’s position that there would be no substantive progress
on the abduction issue and to ask our ally the United States
therefore not to remove North Korea from the list of state
sponsors of terrorism.
Shigeo Iizuka, Chairman
Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea (AFVKN)
Katsumi Sato, Chairman
National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North
Takeo Hiranuma, Chairman
Parliamentarian League for Early Repatriation of Japanese Citizens
Kidnapped by North Korea
NARKN News May 27, 2008
League of Parliamentarians for Early Repatriation of Japanese Citizens
Kidnapped by North Korea
Urging Refrain From Unprincipled Concessions to North Korea on Nuclear and Abduction Issues.
We, the League of Parliamentarians for the Early Repatriation of Japanese Citizens Kidnapped by North Korea, have publicly warned since last year that the US-Japan alliance would be seriously jeopardized if the United States removes North Korea from the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism before North Korea has made a “complete and correct” nuclear declaration and while there has been no progress on the abduction issue.
Last November, seven Diet members representing this League, headed by Chairman Takeo Hiranuma, along with representatives of both the Families of Abduction Victims and its supporting organization, visited Washington DC and conveyed this message to relevant officials of the U.S. Administration and the Congress. Since then we have noted mounting criticism in the Congress over the negotiating posture of the State Department and followed the legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in May that would prohibit hasty delisting of North Korea from the Terrorism List.
Members of this league returned to Washington DC this year in early May, again accompanied by representatives of the Families of Abduction Victims and supporting organization, for additional meetings. At that time, Assistant Secretary Christopher Hill clearly remarked that the U.S. does not have information on where North Korea’s nuclear bombs are manufactured and that it is a problem.
North Korea continues to deny the existence of its enriched uranium program and nuclear proliferation to Syria and other countries while trivializing the debate on its plutonium development program into merely a question of the quantity of plutonium extracted. Defiantly, it has obscured critical information about its nuclear bomb manufacturing facilities and actual number of bombs. Moreover, North Korea steadfastly refuses to discuss the abduction issue, claiming it is already resolved.
North Korea’s intermediate nuclear missiles constitute a grave threat to Japan and the abduction of Japanese nationals is a flagrant violation of Japan’s sovereignty. Should the United States as an ally of Japan ever make an unprincipled concession either on the nuclear front or the abduction issue, Japan’s trust in the United States, which is the basis of the alliance, would be greatly shaken.
Therefore, we the League of Parliamentarians strongly urge both the Japanese and the U.S. Governments to adhere to the following:
1. The Japanese government should strengthen its diplomatic effort toward the United States so that the U.S. Government would not make any unprincipled concession on either the nuclear program declaration or the abduction issue. If the United States and North Korea ever reach an agreement with an insufficient nuclear declaration, the Japanese government should not recognize the agreement.
2. The United States’ government should not lift North Korea from the Terrorist List without a complete and correct declaration of its entire nuclear program and resolution of the abduction issue or it would amount to de facto acceptance of North Korea’s nuclear armament and its acts of abduction.
Adopted: May 27, 2008
ABE, Shinzo（Liberal Democratic Party, LDP）
NAKAI, Hiroshi（Democratic Party of Japan, DPJ）
URUSHIBARA, Yoshio（New Komeito）
Acting Secretary General
* The League is made up of 203 members from both houses of Diet.
NARKN News Oct. 24, 2007
Mrs. Hitomi Soga who was a North Korean abduction victim (48 years old) had a press conference at Mano branch of Sado city hole on October 17th which was one of the turning points since she returned back to Japan from North Korea five years ago of which questions and answers are as follows.
Please tell us about your thought of your mother, Mrs. Miyoshi Soga whose information has not yet been obtained.
Since I returned back to Japan from North Korea I have much more times to think deeply over her than I was in North Korea as an abductee.
Because I was living with her in Sado until we have been separated by the abduction around my house.
So every time I remember her when I walk around that area even now.
Because I am the eldest sister at my family whenever she went out I followed her when I was a child.
Unfortunately I could not get any news about her here in Sado for five years.
Since I have returned back to Japan from North Korea I have been living in Sado and thinking of her day by day expecting to be able to get some information.
Whenever I see ladies like her age I always consider if she lived with me together with the member of my family I should be very happy.
However such thought makes me upset.
In my memory she was very gentle and a hard worker.
How are you facing to the memories of your mother?
I have reformed my house then only a small Japanese style room is remained unchanged where usually I stayed with her before the abduction which makes me remember her, so that space is most comfortable one for me.
I keep everything belonged by her which I can not clear off because those things are very important for me and I am busy in my work however I sometime take to look at her kimono, Japanese clothes makes me sentimental.
How do you think over your mother?
At first I want to stare her lively face.
Then I want to make her to do various things which most ladies who are around her age are interested in.
And I want to take her to a hot sprig and make her easy.
The most memorial things are her kimonos, which are now kept at a drawer.
When she was young she was learning needlework and made kimonos for me and my sisters.
Still I have some kimonos and yukatas which she made for me.
Whenever I see such things I feel her warm hart made me badly want to meet her again.
Please tell us the most memorial and happiest matter for you since you have returned back to Japan.
So many matters I have experienced during these five yeas made me difficult to clear up my mind.
During the first two yeas I had hard time because I was waiting my family left in Korea.
Anyway I was very happy when I could meet with them in Indonesia and coming back to Japan with my all four members of the family at the eeriest.
Please tell us your thought about Mrs. Megumi Yokota who also stayed in North Korea as abductees remained unsolved for thirty years.
When I was in North Korea as abductees I lived together with her by accident.
I understand recently that it was very much encouraged to me to be able to live together with her as the same circumstance.
I think we were very friendly only from the thought because both are Japanese even she is six yeas younger than me.
It was regret if we could talk each other much more on the various matters.
Then we could be much closer.
Please tell us about Mrs. Megumi Yokota.
How she was doing at the invitation house?
What kind of memories do you have about her?
I have been abducted on August 12th and lived with her since 18th in North Korea.
Until we were separated we were relocated in the different invitation houses tow or three times, during the period I was alone by myself but after that we were together again.
It was regret that I could not brig a red bag along with me when I returned back to Japan which was given to me from her.
Also I regret very much that we should talk much more even the circumstances were very difficult to do so.
So many abductees are still remained in North Korea whose information is not obtained.
Please tell us your thought on such abductees.
The most important thing is to poses a hope and to bear up whatever they are facing and never hurt by themselves.
I believe someday in the future they will be able to return back to Japan and live together again with their family.
I hope they will never give up to keep thinking about that.
How do you support to rescue the abducted victims.
It is difficult for me to attend the assemblies in all over Japan because I have a job.
Whenever there are some assemblies around my area, I will attend to talk what I am thinking and my experiences and precede the subscription activities as much as possible.
Translated by Toshimichi Nanjo
February 28, 2007
The Honorable George Bush
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We are writing on behalf of the North Korea Freedom Coalition, a
nonpartisan group of over 65 American and Korean-American human rights,
religious, and non-governmental organizations representing millions of
American citizens. We are deeply grateful for what you have done to
express solidarity with and hope for the people of North Korea enslaved
under the Kim Jong-il dictatorship.
The North Korean Freedom Coalition believes you accurately described the
Kim Jong-il regime as “a regime arming with missiles and weapons of
mass destruction, while starving its citizens.” We were greatly
encouraged when you signed the North Korea Human Rights Act of 2004
citing its "useful new tools to address the deplorable human rights
situation in North Korea" and vowing to "work with other
states in the region and internationally to take steps to improve the
lives of the average North Korean." We appreciated your subsequent
appointment of Jay Lefkowitz as your Special Envoy to "greatly
our efforts to encourage North Korea to accept and abide by
internationally accepted human rights standards and norms.”
We were very encouraged when, in 2005, you met with North Korean
defector Kang Cheol-hwan, and in 2006, on North Korea Freedom Day, you
met the director of Free North Korea Radio, Kim Seung-Min, and Kim
Han-mee and her family, as well as Sakie and Takuya Yokota, whose family
members had been abducted by Kim Jong-il’s regime.
Your administration has worked to hold this regime accountable for its
illicit activities: counterfeiting, money laundering, and
drug-trafficking. The section 311designation by the Treasury Department
had a strong impact on the regime’s inner circle. The UN Sanctions
imposed after the missile tests of July and the nuclear test of October
2006 stand as great achievements in your administration’s international
diplomatic initiatives. The effect of these measures was clearly felt by
the regime, as evidenced in its strong protests and sales of gold
Just as these efforts were beginning to bear fruit, State Department
negotiators persuaded you to mitigate this pressure in order to win
North Korean acceptance of additional meetings and vaguely-worded
commitments relating to North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
Leverage obtained over years of showing strong resolve to halting the
regime’s activities were exchanged for a commitment to again shut-down
Yongbyon, an “empty shell” according to the defectors, and to talk.
These actions have given Kim Jong-il’s regime new life: American
criticism of North Korea’s illicit activities has been modified, our
insistence on international sanctions has been undercut, and our
criticism of the regime’s human rights record has been quieted. These
actions have undermined the long-term interest of the United States in
Asia and undermined negotiations with other hostile rogue states; harmed
our alliance with the government of Japan; and betrayed the people of
As you deal with North Korea in the critical months ahead, we urge you
1) Reaffirm designations under section 311 of the Patriot Act for banks
that facilitate North Korea’s illicit activities;
2) Promise energy assistance and medical and food aid only when
-all abductees and POWs are released and allowed to return to their
-aid can be monitored as required under UN resolutions 1695 and 1718;
-North Koreans are allowed freedom of movement; and
-the political prison camps are dismantled and the International Red
Cross is allowed to administer to the victims there.
We also encourage you to
3) implement and fully fund the North Korea Human Rights Act of 2004;
4) continue to list North Korea as a state sponsoring terrorism until it
apologizes for past terrorist incidents, makes restitution to persons
killed or harmed by its terrorist acts, and returns perpetrators of
terrorism to justice in countries where the acts were committed; and
5) instruct U.S. negotiators to insist on human rights protections for
North Korea’s citizens in any discussions.
We strongly desire the peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula
and the normalization of relations with North Korea, but this can only
be accomplished when the regime is pressured to protect the human rights
of its own citizens.
The nuclear issue is a diversion from the real issue: human rights. No
one understands this better than the 10,000 strong North Korean
defectors, who have escaped their enslavement to live in freedom.
Because of your past actions, they have long believed that you and your
administration are the greatest hope today to helping the millions still
enslaved. There is still time, and we hope and pray that as the leader
of the Free World, you will stay true to your principles and promote
human rights for the North Korean people. We also hope that you will
meet with the leadership of the North Korean defectors when they visit
Washington, D.C. for North Korea Freedom Week April 22-29, 2007.
Suzanne Scholte Sin U Nam Rabbi Abraham Cooper
Chairman Vice Chairman Vice Chairman
Ann Buwalda Mariam Bell Sue Yoon Logan
Treasurer Legislative Chair Administrator
North Korea Freedom Coalition Members
Public Members (partial listing):
American Anti-Slavery Group
American Family Association
Christian Solidarity International
Christian Solidarity Worldwide - USA
Citizen's Coalition for Human Rights
of Abductees & North Korean Refugees
Coalitions for America
Commission to Help North Korean Refugees
Committee for the Rescue of Korean War POWs
Concerned Women for America
Defense Forum Foundation
Democracy Network Against the NK Gulag*
Embassy of the Prince of Peace
Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
Exile Committee for North Korean Democracy*
Family Research Council
Focus on the Family
Freedom Society of America
Free North Korea Radio*
Helping Hands Korea
Human Rights Coalition-USA
Human Rights First
Human Rights Without Frontiers
Institute on Religion and Democracy
Institute on Religion and Public Policy
Intl Korean War Memorial Foundation
Korean-American Freedom Fighters Movement
Korean Congress for N. Korean Human Rights
Korean Freedom Council (KFC)
Korean Freedom Democracy League of America
Korean War Abductees Family Union
Life Funds for North Korean Refugees
National Association for the Rescue of
Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea
National Council for Freedom and Democracy
NY Commission to Help N. Korean Refugees
N. American Religious Liberty Association
Open Doors USA
Religious Freedom Coalition
Salvation Army, U.S.A.
Save North Korea
Simon Wiesenthal Center
Southern Baptist Convention, ERLC
The Israeli Jewish Comm. Against the
Gas Chambers in North Korea
The Wilberforce Forum
*organizations of North Korean defectors
Suzanne Scholte, Chairman
Sin U Nam, Vice Chairman
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Vice Chairman
Mariam Bell, Legislative Co-Chair
Ann Buwulda, Treasurer
Sue Yoon Logan, Administrator
Advisors: Hwang Jang-Yop, Chuck Downs,
Col. Gordon Cucullu, ret.
NARKN News 2007.02.22
22nd February 2007
President George W. Bush
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President,
We would like to express our deep gratitude for your concern about the
victims of North Korea’s abduction of foreign nationals. We will never
forget your kindness last April when you met Sakie Yokota, a Japanese
mother whose thirteen year old daughter was abducted by North Korea. That
meeting was a tremendous encouragement to all the victims’ families.
Your resolve is surely the reason for the recent progress with North Korea
in the Six Party Talks. However, there is one very serious area of concern
in the Joint Statement of February 13, to which we call your attention.
The language of concern says “The United States will begin the process
of removing the designation of the DPRK as a state-sponsor of terrorism
and advance the process of terminating the application of the Trading with
the Enemy Act with respect to the DPRK.”
Mr. President, the abductions of Japanese and other foreign nationals by
North Korea are abhorrent acts of state-sponsored terrorism. This is a
principal reason why North Korea is designated as a terrorist state in the
US State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism. That regime’s
ongoing terrible nature is emphasized by the continued detention of Megumi
Yokota and other victims.
We ask your help in continuing to make sure the United States will not
remove North Korea from the list of terrorist states until all abduction
victims are returned. The Government of Japan is also strongly urging
North Korea to immediately return all the abductees.
We have no doubt that, under your leadership, the United States will
continue to be the beacon of light for the universal values of liberty and
human rights in North Korea and throughout the world. Thank you for
helping us to fight for the return of our beloved family members.
Shigeru Yokota, Chairman,
The Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea
Katsumi Sato, Chairman,
The National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North
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.
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.
RELEASE FROM SAFARI MEDIA:
JANE CAMPION ABDUCTION FILM WINS AUDIENCE AWARD
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. I would like to ask the UN, the EU and other countries to understand and give support on the abduction issue.
Mr. Hirata: The more strongly we exert pressure on the North, the more effectively Japanese Foreign Ministry can manage the negotiation. For example, the Lebanese government brought back their abductees from North Korea after showing their determination and political clout. If there was a local case of kidnapping, the police would quickly form an operation headquarters, but there is no operation hub to rescue the victims of this North Korean abduction in Japan. This is naturally interpreted as indetermination on the part of Japanese authority.
The AFVKN and NARKN have been demanding economic sanctions since July two years ago and received the support of three-fourth of Japanese citizens and two third of the Congressmen. Now, no one can deny that North Korea has commited abduction operations worldwide. There are testimonies about abductees of European origin. We ask you to work with more and more countries.
The Envoy: I would like to take as much time as possible to discuss with people concerned.
NARKN News 2005.11.28
On November 28, 2005, members of the National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea (NARKN), Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea (AFVKN), and the Parliamentarian League for Early Repatriation of Japanese Citizens Kidnapped by North Korea met with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso. The meeting, which lasted over 40 minutes, took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to discuss the current situation on the abduction issue.
The participants were: 11 members from the AFVKN including Shigeru Yokota (Chiarman), Sakie Yokota, Shigeo Iizuka (Vice Chaiman), and Teruaki Masumoto (Secretary General); 3 members from NARKN including Chairman Katsumi Sato; Chairman Takeo Hiranuma and Executive Director Furuya Keiji from the Congressional Committee. Participants from the Japanese government included the Foreign Minister Aso, Kenichiro Sasae (Head of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau), and Akitaka Saiki (Deputy Director-General of the Bureau).
Below are excerpts from the meeting:
Foreign Minister Aso stated, “the abduction issue is unique in a sense that the national leader himself had publicly admitted on the crime conducted by its nation.” Aso added by saying “the Japanese government is negotiating on the assumption that the abducted victims are all alive.” This happens to be the first time a Foreign Minister has ever openly taken this stand.
Moreover, FM Aso praised the UN resolution which recently passed the United Nation’s Third Committee which condemns North Korea for their act of abduction. Aso stated that “not only the world-wide media coverage of the resolution, but also the passing itself created a strong pressure to the North Koreans. It was also meaningful that the UN general assembly used direct words for the first time clarifying the wrong doing of North Korea when passing the resolution.”
In response, the families requested the immediate implementation of economic sanctions.
FM Aso answered by stating “there are ways to pressure North Korea other than implementing the sanctions laws. After Koizumi took power, we were able to conduct domiciliary search for the first time against the pro-Pyongyang Chosen Soren for not paying tax money for its fixed assets. The heightened regulations put upon the North Korean ships entering Japan which requires each ship to have more insurance coverage also is working as pressure.”
FM Aso continued by pointing out that “the government-backed Resolution and Collection Corp (RCC) ordering the return of 60 billion yen towards the Chosen Soren is also a deliberate sign of our strong determination.” Furthermore, Aso raised other pressure elements such as the UN resolution condemning North Korea for their abduction and the fact that the Japanese government has clarified in past meetings that if this abduction issue was not resolved there will be no further deals on the issue of any future economic aid. These actions, from Aso’s perspective, are ways of pressuring North Korea and he believes that pressures are mounting.
The three organizations, on the other hand, asked FM Aso to meet the brother of Ms. Anocha in person—the Thai national who was also abducted by North Korea—when he comes to Tokyo on December 22, 2005 to attend the National Rescue Movement Rally. Aso responded by saying “if I could be of help, I’ll be willing to meet him.”
Moreover, the members of the Rescue Movement requested that the Japanese government interview the Lebanese abducted victims— who could manage to return to their home country— for any information on witnessing Japanese in North Korea. Furthermore, there is information about Megumi Yokota’s husband possibly being a high school student—at the time of missing—who was abducted many years ago from South Korea. Based on this source, the Rescue Movement requested that a DNA test be done with Ms. Kim Hegyon’s blood samples—she lives in North Korea and has been scientifically proven to be Megumi Yokota’s daughter—and compare it with the blood samples of the family members of that high school student in South Korea.
The families of the victims also added that “the Japanese government often use the term pressure and dialogue, but we can’t see any substantial pressure being imposed” and that “the government frequently suggests that economic sanctions would hurt the abductees, but it need not worry about us regretting the use of economic sanctions.”
NARKN News 2005.11.14
On November 11, 2005, the delegation of Mr. Teruaki Masumoto (Secretary General of AFVKN) and Mr. Tsutomu Nishioka (Vice Chairman of NARKN) who was recently visiting Thailand had returned to Japan
In early May before planning this visit, we (NARKN and AFVKN) have conducted an interview with Ms. Hitomi Soga –a Japanese national who was abducted by North Korea and returned in 2002— and confirmed on the existence of a Thai abducted victim named Ms. Anocha.
We immediately reported this to the Japanese government and through diplomatic channels the Thai government was informed soon after. However, since Ms. Soga only knew of her first name, the Thai authority was not able to specify the victim at that time.
Later in October 2005, a memoir by Mr. Charles Robert Jenkins—a former US military personnel who deserted to North Korea—was published in Japan; an article by the Thailand newspaper “Nation” cited contents from this book regarding the description of a Thai abducted victim and through reading this article, the older brother of Ms. Anocha, Mr. Sukham Panjoy had come forward on confirming this matter.
The Japanese government has also acted in accordance to our request by raising the issue of Ms. Anocha at the bilateral Japanese-DPRK meeting held in Beijing this November 3, 4th. However, the North Korean government has bluntly responded by stating that “there exists no internal record of a female that matches the description.”
When our colleagues visited Chiang Mai City this month on the 10th to meet the older brother of Ms. Anocha, he has asked us with desperation on whether his sister was alive and how he could bring her back.
Mr. Masumoto has replied by stating that it was absolutely pivotal to have North Korea publicly acknowledge the abduction of MS. Anoche if he were to bring his sister back. To do this, he proposed the brother to visit Ms. Soga in Japan and make this travel well known and spread throughout Thai and also the international society.
Moreover Mr. Masumoto pointed out that there is a National gathering in Tokyo on December 22, 2005 organized by the AFVKN and NARKN to bring back the abducted victims and this would be a good opportunity for him to visit Japan. As he gave a formal invitation to Ms. Anocha’s brother, he replied that “I must go.”
Through testimony by Ms. Soga and Mr. Jenkins, we now know that the abduction issue caused by North Korea is no longer an issue of only Japan and South Korea, but a tragedy that involves the abduction of nationals throughout Southeast Asia, Middle East, and Europe.
We (the NARKN and AFVKN) pledge to use all of our ability to bring back every victim such as Ms. Anocha and Ms. Megumi Yokota and work together with the people and government of Japan, Thai, South Korea and many others who are willing to fight with the inhumane act of terrorism.
At the abduction rescue gathering held in Ishikawa Prefecture on November 13, 2005, Mr. Masumoto stated that “those proponents who promote normalization with North Korea as being a necessary step to bring back the abducted victims have proved to be wrong again. Thailand already has a normalized relation with the DPRK, yet the North Korean government continues to despise the Thai people by not admitting that they have abducted Ms. Anocha.”
NARKN News 2005.11.10
To further strengthen and expand the international movement to bring back the abducted victims from North Korea, the AFVKN and NARKN plans to send a delegation from November 11, 2005 of Mr. Teruaki Masumoto (Secretary General of the AFVKN) and Mr. Tsutomu Nishioka (Vice Chairman of NARKN) to Thailand.
Their objective is to meet with the older brother of Ms. Anocha— a female Thai national who was abducted by North Korea— and to discuss with government officials on the matter.
Before this visit, Mr. Nishioka has conducted a phone interview with Ms. Hitomi Soga— a Japanese survivor returned in 2002 also kidnapped by North Korea and remembers seeing Ms. Anoche while being captive— to confirm and hear about her memories regarding Ms. Anocha. The following are excerpts of the interview.
Telephone interview with Hitomi Soga on Ms. Anocha 2005.11.8
I remember Ms. Anocha being very kind. When she had time, she would also take care of my two children and she would be very caring. She was like an older sister to me.
She told me that her mother had already passed away; had an older brother and a father who was old.
In 1989, she told me that she was going to re-marry with a German national. After this conversation, I never got to see her again and don’t know where she had gone.
Please tell my regards to Ms. Anocha’s older brother. If he were to come to Japan, would like to talk about his sister in person. I would also like to cooperate with the investigation by Thai government as much as possible if they were to need my help.
When Ms. Anocha’s brother was interviewed by Japanese TV and showed the photograph of his sister, there was no doubt that it was she. The photo looked just like Ms. Anocha when I saw her in the 1980s. It resembled many memories of her and I strongly want to see her again.
NARKN News 2005.11.09
As he promised to the AFVKN and NARKN delegation on 27th October, US Congressman Henry Hyde, Chairman of the House International Relations Committee, has just sent a following letter to Park Gil-Yon, North Korean Ambassador to the UN, urging immediate resolution of the abduction issue.
We appreciate this strong warning message from a leading political figure in the United States towards a tyrannical regime.
PDF file is here.
NARKN News 2005.11.07
From the Daily Yomiuri Online, Nov. 7, 2005
Thai man sure North Korea abducted sister
Makoto Ota / Yomiuri Shimbun (Newspaper) Correspondent
A Thai man has told The Yomiuri Shimbun he is sure a woman reportedly abducted by North Korea in Macau in 1978 and recently pictured on television is his sister.
According to Sukham Panjoy of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, his only sister, Anocha, disappeared in 1978. She was born in July 1954, and their mother died soon afterward. Their father, who had longed to see his daughter again, died three months ago at the age of 97.
Panjoy, 59, said Anocha went to Bangkok to work after graduating from school. For the first few years, she came back home several times a month.
However, his family lost contact with her after she wrote to them that she was working in Macau and coming back home in May 1978. Later, a friend told the family that Anocha had been abducted, he said.
Last month, former U.S. Army Sgt. Charles Jenkins, husband of former abductee Hitomi Soga, announced that a woman who said she was Thai told him she was abducted to North Korea from Macau in 1978.
Panjoy said he knew the woman was his missing sister when a TV program showed her photograph, which reportedly was taken on a North Korean beach in 1985.
"Everybody who knows her from her childhood says so [the woman is his sister]," he told The Yomiuri Shimbun.
He has asked the Thai Foreign Ministry to confirm her safety.
The Thai government has reportedly asked the Japanese government to provide information on the abduction issue through the Japanese Embassy in Bangkok.
Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said his government would try to confirm the facts as soon as possible.
"If the information is true and she's alive, we'll negotiate with North Korea for her return," he said Thursday.
Thailand has diplomatic relations with North Korea.
Foreign Minister Taro Aso said the government was ready to cooperate with Thailand over the abduction issue, mentioning the information that a Thai woman had been abducted by North Korea.
"As the two countries are in the same position concerning the fact that the national sovereignty has been violated, we may be able to think together about how to deal with the issue," he
NARKN News 2005.10.07
“Evidence of North Korea Conducting Abduction in Europe and Southeast Asia— Impose Economic Sanctions against North Korea Now to Rescue All Victims!”
On May 28, 2005, Teruaki Masumoto (Secretary General of the AFVKN) and Tsutomu Nishioka (Vice-Chairman of the NARKN) met with Ms. Hitomi Soga (survivor of the abduction and returned in 2002) and heard her testify regarding the existence of three female foreign nationals (non-Japanese victims) who were also abducted by the North Korean regime.
According to Ms. Soga, the three women were all married to former US military personnel and lived in the same apartment as Ms. Soga and her husband Mr. Jenkins. The two females included a national from Thai and Romania, which are states that have not been recognized as having any victims of abduction by North Korea.
The world has already known of existing Japanese, South Korean, and Lebanese victims of abduction, but never was there any information regarding other nationals being kidnapped by North Korea.
From this testimony by Ms. Soga we have found new evidence that the horrific abduction was conducted in Europe and Southeast Asia as well. After the meeting, the AFVKN and NARKN have promptly reported this information to the Japanese government and Ms. Soga had reported the same information to the Japanese government earlier on. The information is said to have been conveyed through diplomatic channels to each respective nation. During this time, the AFVKN and NARKN have launched its own investigation to support this evidence from different sources.
As the United Nations prepare its sessions on Human Rights violations by North Korea—including the abduction issue— from the end of October, the AFVKN and NARKN will send in a delegation not only to attend these sessions, but to also inform and work together with the international community such as the UN, Thai, Romania, the US, and ROK to rescue the Thai national Ms. Anocha (phonetically) and her family members as well as the Romanian victim Ms. Doina (phonetically) —who is claimed to have died in North Korea—and her family.
Our movement understands the seriousness of this abduction issue and will continue to work hard to rescue all the victims. For this reason, we also strongly ask the Koizumi administration to impose economic sanctions right now to bring all the captives back to their home country.
Shigeru Yokota, President
The Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea (AFVKN)
Katsumi Sato, Chairman
The National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea (NARKN)
October 7, 2005
* See below information of the three nationals witnessed by Ms. Soga in North Korea:
1) Thai National, Female
Name: Anocha (According to Mr. Jenkins, however, the name was heard as Anoche)
Age and Birth: About 2 years older than Ms. Soga who is currently 46 years old. Birth date is assumed to be sometimes between August to October.
Abduction: According to Ms. Soga, Ms. Anocha was told that there was a job offer in Japan and she was fooled by this false talk and abducted in July 1978. According to the book written by Mr. Jenkins, she is said to have been abducted in the streets of Macao and put on a boat.
Place of Birth: The suburbs (farm land) of Thai. She was in Macao for work at the time of abduction.
Family: She has a father and one older brother. Her mother had passed away.
1980 Marries to former US military personnel Mr. Larry Abshier. They live in Pyongyang-city Sungho-kuyok Ripsokri (20 minutes away from the center of Pyongyang by car). They lived in a bungalow, which was close to Ms. Soga’s where they could meet relatively freely.
1983 Mr. Abshier dies of illness. No children between the two.
Dec. 1984 She moves to a two-floor apartment (2 household in the second floor and one household on the first) in Sungho-kuyok Ripsokri where she lived alone in the second floor. Ms. Soga and her family also moved next to where she lived.
1989 She moves out from the apartment and is not seen again. The room was vacant after she left with no one living afterwards.
2) Romania National, Female
Name: Doina (According to Mr. Jenkins, the name was heard as Donna)
Age and Birth: About 6 or 7 years older than Ms. Soga who is currently 46. Birth date is assumed to be February.
Abduction: According to Ms. Soga, Ms. Doina was told that there was a job offer of selling paintings and also she could study art in Japan; she was fooled by this false talk and abducted in July 1978.
Place of Birth: Ms. Soga thought Doina was an Italian since she came from Italy, but Mr. Jenkins heard from Doina just before her death that she was originally from Romania.
Family: She has a father who is Romanian and a mother who is a Russian. They are both living in Romania.
Brief History: Marries to former US military personnel Mr. James Dresnok and had two sons.
1984 Moves to a two floor apartment in Ripsokri. The family lived on the first floor.
1997 She dies of cancer.
Present: Mr. James Dresnok lives at the same apartment with the two sons.
3) Lebanon National, Female
Abduction: Ms. Shiham was told in Lebanon that there was a job offer from “Hitachi” as a secretary in Japan and together with three other Lebanese females, she was fooled by this false talk and abducted in July 1978.
1978 Marries former US military personnel Mr. Jerry Parrish
November 1979 Due to a protest by the Lebanese government to the DPRK, she was returned to Lebanon along with the other three Lebanese female. However, she was 4 months pregnant at the time and eventually decided to get back to North Korea again.
1984 Moves to a two floor apartment in Ripsokri where she lives in the first floor till this day.
August 25, 1997 Mr. Parrish dies.
NARKN News 2005.09.13
"Two Thirds of the Newly Elected Members in the House of Representatives Support Early Economic Sanctions against North Korea "
The National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea (NARKN) and the Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea (AFVKN) tallied up the questionnaire returns from the newly elected members in the House of Representatives on early economic sanctions against North Korea.
According to the results released on the 13th of September, 66.9% of the newly elected politicians are for applying early economic sanctions against North Korea. The government should consider this result as a reflection of the people’s true voice and act accordingly.
The result of the questionnaire is on the Japanese version of the NARKN website (http://www.sukuukai.jp/index.html).
At the press conference, both NARKN and AFVKN announced the following statement.
Three fourth of the newly elected Congressmen answered the questionnaire of whether the Japanese government should impose early economic sanction against North Korea to rescue the abducted victims. The results came out where an overwhelming 67% approved, 1% disapproved, and the rest 32% gave alternative responses. This approval rates among newly elected members was 22% higher than the approval ratings assembled earlier on—from a questionnaire distributed before the elections to all candidates who ran for office—which was 45%. This underscores the fact that the Japanese citizens voted for the candidates who approved early economic sanctions. Moreover, among the alternative answers categorized as ‘others,’ it is worth noting that the majority were comments indicating approval of early economic sanctions towards the DPRK.
Among the Political Party, the approval rate was; LDP 73%, New Komei Party 37% (these two Parties form majority in Congress), DPJ 68%, Communist Party 0%, Social Democratic Party 0%, New Kokumin Party 50%, New Party Nippon 0%, New Party Daichi 0%, and others 75%.
More than two thirds of the members who responded to the questionnaire approve imposing early economic sanctions against North Korea. Within the newly elected members who belong to the ruling LDP—which won a major victory in the election—73% approved, which is 6% higher than the average of the whole respondents. This result represents the strong will of the Japanese citizens.
As it is already known, the Koizumi Cabinet expressed their intentions to implement economic sanctions through a statement on December 24, 2004 by Chief Cabinet Secretary Hosoda stating, “If the North Korean government does not respond to our demands (regarding the abduction issue) sincerely as well as promptly, we must consider a more decisive means of responding.” However, we have seen no sign of sanctions even though eight months had passed.
We continue to demand that the will of the Japanese people of imposing economic sanctions be heard and put in action to bring back all the abducted victims, which is also necessary to show our nation’s commitment in solving this issue in a united voice.
The abduction issue is a clear violation of sovereignty and an urgent matter where the lives of the abducted depend on how fast and safely we could bring them back. We want the newly elected members to keep their promises and work as much as possible in accomplishing this objective. We also ask Prime Minister Koizumi to sincerely listen to the will of the Japanese citizen and forge for early economic sanction towards the DPRK.
Shigeru Yokota, Chairman
Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea (AFVKN)
Katsumi Sato, Chairman
National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea (NARKN)
NARKN News 2005.07.14
On July 14th, a delegate of 18 members of the AFVKN and NARKN, including Mr. and Mrs. Yokota, met with the Japanese Foreign Minister, Nobutaka Machimura. This meeting was the second in kind since last October 14th, 2004 and was held in proposal by the Minister.
The summary of the meeting is as follows:
A family member (AFVKN): They say it would be difficult to bring the abduction issue up in the framework of the Six-Party Talks. However, we strongly request that the Japanese government take an resolute stand. Although some mention that the abduction issue is a bilateral one, I think the problem has universal human rights implication which is to be brought up on international settings including the Six-Party Talks.
A family member: The Japanese government is describing its basic position as ‘dialogue and pressure.’ But the channel for dialogue remains abruptly cut off by the North Koreans and the Japanese government has exerted no pressure.
A family member: We do not think our loved ones are dead.
A family member: Even if our loved ones were to return, considering the general scarcity of food in North Korea, they might be suffering from osteoporosis. That's why quick actions are needed. Parents are getting older and more and more anxious. And to have victims returned, the government must impose economic sanctions. Without sanctions, Japan wouldn't even be able to have a serious discussion with North Korea.
A family member: The US House of Representatives has recently passed a resolution demanding the full account of and immediate release of all the abductees. The US House resolution has confirmed "the Terakoshi case" as an abduction, which the Japanese Government is still reluctant to recognize as such. We have been requesting a formal reply from the Japanese government on the case, but not yet heard back. We ask for your immediate response.
A family member: We ask the government to re-assess the whole policy towards North Korea during these fifteen or twenty years. Then, you will see some systemic deficiency in Japan’s foreign policy.
Foreign Minister Machimura: Has been 6 moths since we've last met and I feel deeply sorry for not having any progress. Since December 2004, we have got no substantial response from the North Koreans and I would say their attitude is insincere. We are prepared to hold the Working Group level meetings anytime and have urged North Korea to respond again and again. Frankly, no official contacts for now.
I can only imagine how frustrated and angry you are. I noticed your everyday activities through the media, such as the recent sit-in protests conducted under the hot summer sun. I am being deeply embarrassed by the lack of progress.
The Six-Party talks will resume at the end of July. I think these 13 months 'vacuum' of negotiations has served in North Korea's advantage. I have asked Foreign Ministers of the PRC, US, ROK, and other nations that have diplomatic ties with DPRK to bring up the abduction issue whenever it is possible. Have heard that some had taken up the issue with North Korean officials. But no good news so far.
I have also raised the issue at the recent economic summit in Britain, got positive reaction from all the participants, and have been successful in having the issue mentioned on the summary resolution of the Speaker.
Two days ago, Secretary Rice visited Japan. Owing to your efforts, she had in-depth knowledge on the abduction issue. She told me that the US would support the position of the Japanese government; I pointed out the nuclear issue remains critical, but the abduction issue, and missile issue for that matter, is just as important for Japan and we certainly bring this issue up in the coming Six-Party Talks. Secretary Rice said she understood.
As for Six Party Talks, I do not know how the North may behave but we will do our best to have bilateral talks on the sideline. Pyongyang has been saying “only Japan has contributed nothing to the Six Part Talks.” We would just ignore this kind of slur.
I note your criticism that the Japanese government exerts little pressure on North Korea. I would say that some countries have told us that Japan ought not to complicate the situation by antagonizing North Korea with premature sanctions. That has made us be careful with the use of economic sanctions.
I cannot tell you when and how the government would impose sanctions but we have kept doing preparatory works.
A NARKN executive: After the bill which enables the Administration to exert unilateral sanctions against North Korea passed on February 2004 , both Mr. Koizumi and former Foreign Minister Kawaguchi said they have no intention to actually invoke it. When the Japanese Diet passed another bill that could ban the North Korean ships from entering Japanese ports they said the same things. Why does Mr. Koizumi remain visibly hesitant? The logic that “if we were to impose economic sanctions, North Korea would not participate in the Six-Party talks” is something that the Japanese government has employed recently. Has Mr. Koizumi ever shown resoluteness on the abduction issue at the Cabinet meetings?
Foreign Minister: Our basic position, dialogue and pressure, has not changed. I do not recall Mr. Koizumi saying that he has no intention of imposing sanctions.
Mr. Akitaka Saiki, Deputy Director General of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Mr. Koizumi has mentioned that he does not impose sanctions so long as North Korea abides by the Pyongyang Declaration.
Foreign Minister: Mr. Koizumi believes that declaration is still valid.
A NARKN executive: How could it be valid when North Korea admitted publicly on developing and possessing nuclear weapons?
A family member: Are you going to impose sanctions if there is no progress in the six-party talks?
Foreign Minister: I don’t think it’s proper to comment on the actual timing.
A family member: What is the Japanese government going to do with Shin Gwan-su issue? That convicted abducter repatriated to North Korea.
Mr. Saiki: Shin Gwan-su is a wanted man by us in charge of abducting Japanese citizen, Nobuaki Hara. We have asked for his custody and transfer to Japan time and again. But North Korea has failed to respond.
A family member: Is Mr. Koizumi serious about rescuing the victims? He has been repeatedly fooled by Kim Jong-il. Is he angry on that?
Foreign Minister: Mr. Koizumi has taken this issue seriously. That is why he has traveled to North Korea. I think he has brought some progress.
A family member: We want him to learn more about true nature of North Korea.
Foreign Minister: Mr. Koizumi is a very cautious person when it comes to taking decisive steps. Declaring that Pyongyang declaration is now null and void is relatively easy thing to do. Then what would follow?
We don't find no new alternative route. I believe that is what is in his mind,
A family member: Again, we want you to re-assess the oveaall policies toward North Korea.
NARKN News 2005.07.01
Impose economic sanctions now! Rescue all the abductees!
After confirming all the “material evidence” provided by North Korea, including human remains and death certificates, was sheer fabrication, on December 24, 2004, the Japanese government gave a stern warning saying “Japan has no choice but to take strict measures should there be no fast and sincere response on the part of North Korea (Remarks by Chief Cabinet Secretary
Hosoda).” Thus, the Government effectively implied imposing economic sanctions against the North. Exactly six months have passed since then.
North Korea has defiantly declared that Japan’s examination of remains was fraud and been rejecting to negotiate with Japan on the abduction issue. Truly outrageous.
No one can say “fast and sincere response” is there. Despite this situation, Prime Minister Koizumi has not yet decided to apply sanctions.
Imposing sanctions means showing the national will to recover all the abductees. Being hesitant would send a very dangerous message that Japan is in fact not serious with abduction issue. How you can rescue victims without demonstrating the national will. We want responsible answer from Prime Minister Koizumi.
The Diet has already enacted sanctions legislations, and Special Committees on Abduction Issue of both Houses of the Diet have passed resolutions advocating sanctions. Parliamentarian League for Early Repatriation of Japanese Citizens Kidnapped by North Korea demands sanctions as well. Task Forces for the Resolution of Abduction Issue of the Liberal Democratic Party, Democratic Party Japan, and Komeito Party are all demanding imposition of sanctions.
Vast majority of the Japanese people is also expressing their support for imposition of sanctions. We have collected over five million signatures so far and handed them to the Government.
We strongly urge Prime Minister Koizumi to apply sanctions.
We ask him to suspend remittance from Japan to North Korea, suspend trade between two countries, and ban the entry of specific ships into Japanese ports based on relevant laws.
We ask him to revoke the reentry permits to six executive members of Chosen Soren who are working as representatives at the North Korean Supreme People’s Assembly. We ask him to stop unfair preferential treatment of Chosen Soren and ensure appropriate ones. We ask him to keep recognizing additional victims on the Government official list.
We are going to hold three-day sit-ins in immediate proximity to the prime minister's office beginning today, June 24th, with the slogan of Impose Economic Sanctions Now! Rescue All the Abductees!
We look forward to your support.
Shigeru Yokota, Chairman
Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea (AFVKN)
Katsumi Sato, Chairman
National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea (NARKN)
NARKN News July 4, 2005
Report of the Sit-in Protest
June 24, 2005 Friday
Today, as temperatures rose to over 86 F, members of both the AFVKN and NARKN held a sit-in demonstration to demand
“immediate action to impose economic sanctions towards North Korea to rescue abducted victims
” in front of the Diet Member’s Office Buildings near the Prime Minister’s Office.
Although this demonstration was held the same day as the
notification of the Tokyo Local Assembly’s election, many diet members participated. The
participants of the protest were as follows:
AFVKN (Families' Association)
Shigeru Yokota (Chairman), Sakie Yokota, Takuya Yokota,Tetsuya Yokota, Shigeo Iizuka (Vice Chairman), TeruakiMasumoto (Secretary General), Akihiro
Arimoto, Kayoko Arimoto, Kenichi Ichikawa, Akio Terakoshi and others(total: 21 people)
Katsumi Sato (Chairman) , Tsutomu Nishioka (Vice Chair),Yoichi Shimada (Vice Chair) , and 80 plus delegates from
across the countryand volunteers.
The Parliamentarian League for Early Repatriation of Japanese Citizens Kidnapped by North Korea
Takeo Hiranuma(Chairman), Shingo Nishimura (Secretary General), Keiji Furuya (Chief Secretary), Hitoshi
Matsubara (Acting Chief Secretary), andother bi-partisan diet members including Shinzo Abe (Acting GeneralSecretary
of LDP), Katsuya Okada (Chairman of DPJ), Yukio Hatoyama (Chief of the abduction commission of
DPJ), Tokuhiko Akagi (Chairman the abduction commission of the Upper House), and many others, came to support the protest. The
total count was 31 bi-partisan diet members (approximately 50 people including the proxies.)
More than 200 people voluntarily joined the sit-in protest in response to the AFVKN and NARKN actions.
June 25 Saturday
On this, the second day of the sit-in protests, the number of the voluntary participants peaked at close to 400,
including 100 people from the AFVKN and NARKN; the participants joined together to sit in front of the Diet
Member’s Office Buildings. The actual number of voluntary participants is estimated to be two-to-three times higher
than 400 because there were many participants coming in and out during that time.
We sincerely thank all of you for coming with your passionate hearts and beliefs in spite of the hot,
summer-like climate today. Furthermore, Representative Shingo Nishimura (General Secretary of the PL) sat with
the AFVKN members for the entire duration, and throughout the Tokyo Local Assembly election campaign, some of the
Diet members came to support us.
Thank you all again for providing us with refreshments, cooling sheets, et al. There was a moment during the
sit-in which reminds us of a certain scene from a movie. A foreign car with diplomatic license plate silently
stopped at the side where the crowd was congregating, and left some drinks without introducing himself. When we
inquired about the license plate, it turned out that the vehicle belonged to the embassy of the United States. We,
too, fight terrorism with the same intentions as the US people. We are very impressed of their quiet support
June 26 Sunday
At the height of activity today, the number of participants grew to 700, and the grand total was more
than a thousand. The estimated number of participants during this three day period was 2500. This figure is
impressive. We sincerely thank every participant who made considerable efforts in spite of the sweltering heat.
Today, Shoichi Nakagawa (Minister of Economy and Trade), a member of the Koizumi Cabinet, and Kazuhiro Haraguchi
(Vice Chairman of PL) came to support as well.
Whether we could make this three day sit-in protest as the real tuning point depends, of course, on the future
efforts on our part. We sincerely ask you to further support us.
NARKN News June 1, 2005
Meeting with Mr. Schieffer, the US Ambassador to Japan
On May 31st, four family members of the Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea, AFVKN, and four executive members of the Rescue Movement (NARKN: National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea) met with the honorable Thomas Schieffer, the US Ambassador to Japan. The families thanked the Ambassador for the strong support and understanding from the US government and people towards the issue and conveyed their wish that this close relationship would continue until the problem is completely resolved.
Ambassador Schieffer replied by reflecting on his own experience of being a father stating that, “If I were to have my son abducted, I just cannot bare the pain I would feel.” Mr. Schieffer also added an encouraging comment by saying, “If I could be of any help, I would be more than willing to see with my own eyes the place where your loved ones have been abducted.”
The attendees from the AFVKN were; Shigeru Yokota (Chairman) and his wife Sakie , Shigeo Iizuka (Vice-Chairman), Teruaki Masumoto (General Secretary). The attendees from the NARKN were; Katsumi Sato (Chairman), Tsutomu Nishioka (Permanent Vice-Chairman), Yoichi Shimada (Vice-Chairman), Ryutaro Hirata (Executive Director).
The excerpts of comments and conversation related to Ambassador Schieffer are as follows:
“I had a strong desire to meet with the family members after my inauguration to assure that the US government’s position towards this tragic abduction issue would not change. We will continue to support your Rescue Movement as well as the Japanese government to resolve this problem as soon as possible.”
“We will continue to support and work together to solve the abduction issue. No nation should tolerate this kind of act of abduction and I believe that it is a right thing for the international society to join and solve this problem together.”
“I would be more than willing to visit the place where your loved ones have been abducted. Would also like to meet other members of the AVFKN.”
(After listening to a comment made by the family members thanking the US government for stating the DPRK as one of the ‘axis of evil’ and also citing abduction issue as one of the main reasons for North Korea being included in the ‘state sponsors of terrorism’ list) the Ambassador has been observed of nodding strongly agreeing to this point and replying that “I believe the same way.”
(Towards the comments made by the families that the international society should raise their voice to condemn this act of abduction) the Ambassador agreed by stating, “We should have a unified message that would be sent continuously towards North Korea.”
The Ambassador asked the families whether (when they found out that their loved ones were missing) thought or even hinted on the possibility that the North Koreans may be responsible. The family members each replied by telling their own stories and stating that none of them had expected North Korea since no one had any relation with North Korea before this incident. After hearing these words, the Ambassador expressed his sympathy by stating that, “it must have given you more suffering and pain when you discovered that your family members were kidnapped by North Korea.”
The Ambassador also asked the families whether they have known each other before this abduction issue beginning to come to surface. Through listening to the replies by the families that they have gradually developed their close and strong relationship, he showed his respect and support by stating that “it must be encouraging as well as relieving in a time of stress to work together with colleagues who really share and understand your pains.”
We must make sure that all of you and your families continue to have hope and believe that they will be free someday soon. Let us continue this relationship.
(The families proposed that they would really like to invite the Ambassador to the shores where the abduction was conducted), Mr. Schieffer restated, “If I could be of any help, I would be more than willing to see with my own eyes the place where your loved ones have been abducted. Would like to further discuss on the details for an actual visit”
(The Rescue Movement stated that, “If the North Korean nuclear issue were to be brought up to the UN Security Council, we strongly hope that you would also include the issues of Human Rights abuses in the agenda just as the Iraqi case where the abduction of the Kuwaiti citizens was also referred to”). The Ambassador replied, “My understanding is that the abduction issue should be included as a necessary condition to be resolved when thinking of North Korea.”