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I want to thank Joergen Jensen (“Abuse of North Korean good will,” Sept. 17 letter) and Gregory Clark for their responses to my comments on North Korean good will. If I could be allowed to comment one last time, I promise to be quiet for a while.

I am not here to defend Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s foreign policy, rightwing hawks in Japan, or to excuse the lateness of Japanese apologies to other nations in the aftermath of World War II. That said, I don’t see how one can see “good will” in North Korea’s admitting to abductions without immediately releasing all abductees. That the abductions were committed before Kim Jong Il became leader doesn’t excuse him for keeping any abductees against their will. And did he not “willingly” release this information as a bargaining chip?

Indeed, Koizumi reneged on the agreement to return the abductees to North Korea. Why wouldn’t he? Why should Japan return abductees to their abductor? Does anyone really believe that they would have been allowed to freely determine whether they wanted to live in North Korea or Japan?

Furthermore, the media, domestic and international, pointed out many questions raised in the information released by North Korea concerning abductees who might have been deceased and those who remain missing. Should Japan simply accept North Korea’s word that the case is closed? Can anyone trust an abductor?

The issue of apologies for wartime acts, while serious in itself, should have no direct bearing on this matter. The abductees cannot be held responsible for lack of a governmental apology. I may be blind, but I see no North Korean good will.

geoff dean