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Japan seeks a Tokyo visit by abductee’s daughter

Posted March. 21, 2014 04:48,   

Updated January. 01, 1970 09:00

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Kim Eun Kyung (see photo), the 26-year-old daughter of Megumi Yokota, a poster child of Japanese abductees by North Korea, is said to make a visit to Japan this year.

Choi Seong-ryong, head of a support group for relatives of South Koreans abducted to the North, who has contacted Megumi’s family, said on Thursday, “If the Japan-North Korea working-level meeting resumes, Tokyo will request a visit for Eun Kyung’s grandparents, and also plans to make this happen within this year.”

Choi added, “Last week’s meeting in Mongolia between Eun Kyung and her Japanese grandparents was also made possible after Mr. Isao Iijima’s (Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s advisor) visit to North Korea in May last year.” Iijima said after visiting the North, “All practical negotiations are over and what remains now is the decision of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.”

The Asahi Shimbun said on Thursday that Pyongyang and Tokyo agreed to resume the working-level negotiation, which had been suspended since Nov. 2012, in a Red Cross meeting and an unofficial working-level meeting in Shenyang, China. Keiichi Ono, director of Northeast Division at Japan’s foreign ministry, said in press conference after the meeting, “Details will be coordinated through the two countries’ embassies in Beijing.” As Japan will request a re-investigation of Japanese abductees in addition to Kim Eun Kyung’s visit to Japan in the working-level negotiation to be resumed next month at the earliest.

North Korea, a pariah state in the international community, is said to be proactive on the Japanese abduction issue to mend relationship with Japan. Pyongyang is likely to take this opportunity to propose bringing both the North Korea-Japan relationship back to normal and economic assistance, which were discussed in the 2002 meeting between late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

“Eun Kyung who has a 10-month-old daughter met her husband at prestigious Kim Il Sung University and both were computer-related majors,” a North Korean source said. “Eun Kyung and her father Kim Young Nam are living as VIPs in Pyongyang under the protection of the Kim Jong Un regime as they are a valuable bargaining chip for North Korea’s negotiation with Japan.”