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Clues Found in North Korean Kidnappings
JANUARY 07, 2006 03:00 by Won-Jae Park (parkwj@donga.com)
 
The Japanese media reported yesterday that Megumi Yokota, the poster child for Japanese abductees to North Korea who was 13 years old when she was kidnapped in 1997, was abducted by Shin Gwang-su (76).

The report said that Hitomi Soga (46), another abductee who returned to Japan with her husband who deserted from the U.S. Armed Forces while stationed in Korea, revealed this to Yokota뭩 parents last November.

Reportedly, Soga lived in the same residential building in Pyongyang as Yokota in the late 1970s shortly after being abducted, and Shin was teaching Korean and ideology.

Arrested in South Korea on spying charges, Shin was sentenced to death, but was sent to the North in 2000 according to the agreement from the inter-Korean summit talks.

Pyongyang handed over Yokota뭩 remains to Japan, saying that after being kidnapped from Niigata in 1977, she got married in North Korea and killed herself. But with Japan refuting this, saying that a DNA test proved the remains were false, the Pyongayng-Tokyo relationship soured.

Meanwhile, Choi Sung-yong, chairman of Families of South Korean Abductees, said he requested the South Korean and Japanese governments to identify Yokota뭩 husband, adding that chances are that her husband could be a South Korean abductee.

Choi said, 밫here are high possibilities that Kim Chul-jun, Yokota뭩 husband, who is known to be living in Pyongyang, was one of the five South Korean high school students abducted to the North in 1977 and 1978, adding, 밢n January 4, I asked Cheong Wa Dae, Korea뭩 Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Japan뭩 Prime Minister뭩 Office and Foreign Ministry to compare the DNA of Kim Hye-kyung, Yokota뭩 daughter, and the five abducted students.

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