• Kyodo News


Japan and South Korea were informed in December that Yaeko Taguchi, a Japanese kidnapped to North Korea, was seen alive in Pyongyang last year along with two South Korean abductees, information that casts doubt on Pyongyang’s claim that she died in 1986, government sources said Wednesday.

The information is in line with remarks last August by Hiroshi Nakai, then state minister in charge of the abduction issue, that there was a report of her living in Pyongyang until 2003. But as the latest information includes specific details previously unknown, it is being analyzed by Tokyo and Seoul, they said.

Provided by informed North Korean sources, the account said Taguchi was living in an apartment complex on Changgwang street in Pyongyang’s Mangyongdae district and was seen spending time with two South Korean abductees, the sources said.

One of the South Koreans was Ko Sang Mun, a former high school teacher who disappeared from Norway in 1978, and the other is possibly married to Taguchi, they said.

Taguchi was abducted to the North in 1978, and Pyongyang has claimed she married Tadaaki Hara, another Japanese abductee, and died in a traffic accident in 1986.

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