A DNA analysis suggests that the husband of Megumi Yokota, a Japanese national kidnapped by North Korean agents in 1977 at age 13, is a South Korean who was also abducted by the North, a Japanese government official said Friday.
South Korean newspaper Joong Ang Ilbo, quoting an anonymous source, reported Friday that Japan has concluded Kim Chol Jun, whom the North identifies as Yokota’s husband, is not North Korean as claimed by Pyongyang, but an abducted South Korean.
However, Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe said at a news conference that Tokyo has yet to identify the man said to be Yokota’s husband.
Tokyo has been testing DNA samples it took from relatives of five South Korean men allegedly abducted by North Korea in February to see if any of them match the DNA of Yokota’s daughter, Kim Hye Gyong.
The government official, who had earlier said the DNA analysis confirmed the South Korean as Yokota’s husband, toned down his statement after Abe’s remarks.
The official said according to Japan’s DNA analysis, the husband is apparently a South Korean man allegedly abducted to North Korea about 30 years ago and is the father of Yokota’s daughter.
One of the five samples matched the daughter’s DNA.
The Joong Ang Ilbo identified the South Korean man as Kim Young Nam, who was a high school student when he was abducted from South Korea in 1978.
North Korea has told Japan that Yokota married a man named Kim Chol Jun in 1986 and gave birth to her daughter in 1987 and that Megumi committed suicide in 1993 while being treated for depression.