• Kyodo News


Former North Korean agent Kim Hyon Hui said Wednesday during her second meeting with the brother and son of a Japanese woman kidnapped by Pyongyang that she saw several people in North Korea listed as abductees.

Koichiro Iizuka, the 33-year-old son of abductee Yaeko Taguchi, told a news conference after meeting with Kim in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, that she said she saw some of the faces that appear on a poster of possible abductees. Shigeo Iizuka, Taguchi’s 72-year-old brother, was also at the meeting.

The two Iizukas met with Kim on Tuesday at former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s summer house.

Kim, 48, met with the parents of abductee Megumi Yokota — Shigeru, 77, and Sakie, 74 — for nearly four hours Wednesday evening, and they were to face reporters Thursday morning.

“I feel overwhelmed because we are finally meeting (with Kim),” Sakie Yokota told reporters in Shibata, Niigata Prefecture, before meeting with Kim in Karuizawa. “I want to hear everything from her.”

Her husband said, “She may tell us something we’ll hear for the first time, so I hope this will help lead to (finding Yokota).”

Kim, who had been sentenced to death in South Korea over the fatal 1987 bombing of a South Korean passenger jet and later pardoned and freed, arrived Tuesday in Japan.

It is reported that she learned Japanese language and culture from Taguchi and that she had met with Yokota while training as an agent.

Shigeo and Koichiro Iizuka first met with Kim in March last year in Busan, South Korea. She told them at that time she believes Taguchi is still alive, although Pyongyang claims she died in a traffic accident in 1986.

During their reunion Tuesday, Kim also reportedly said Taguchi is definitely alive and she will come back home, according to the two.

After meeting Kim, they told reporters they were able to deepen a relation of trust with her, although they did not glean new information about Taguchi.

Koichiro Iizuka also disclosed that Kim urged Tokyo to give consideration to what Pyongyang actually wants in negotiations to bring the Japanese abductees home.

The North’s position is that no abductees remain alive.

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