• Kyodo


The sister of Kim Young Nam, the South Korean man believed to have been abducted to North Korea nearly three decades ago, quoted him Sunday as saying at their recent reunion that Japan is making false claims about his former wife, abductee Megumi Yokota.

“My brother said they (the Japanese government) are dismissing his remarks even though they all know the truth,” Kim Young Ja told a news conference.

“Please leave me alone and tell them (the Japanese) so,” she quoted him as saying.

She and her mother traveled to North Korea’s Mount Kumgang resort on Wednesday for their first reunion with Kim Young Nam, who went missing at the age of 17 in 1978 from a beach in South Korea. He has been counted as one of at least 485 South Koreans whom Seoul believes were abducted by North Korea.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Kim Young Nam backed Pyongyang’s claim that Yokota committed suicide in 1994 and insisted that the remains handed over to Japan two years ago are those of his late wife.

Yokota was abducted by North Korean agents in Niigata Prefecture at age 13 in 1977. Pyongyang says she killed herself, which Japan disputes.

Commenting on her brother’s claim that he was not in fact abducted to North Korea, his sister only said, “It’s difficult for me to say whether he was speaking the truth or not. I feel that it can’t be helped that he would say such things. I want to understand his position.”

She also said she and her mother wanted to take up her brother’s invitation to visit him in Pyongyang in August for a second reunion.

Kim Young Ja also said that during the reunion, when she asked Kim Eun Gyong (Hye Gyong), her brother’s daughter with Yokota, whether she remembers her mother, the 18-year-old shook her head.

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