Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Spy, please.

Japan has asked North Korea to hand over this man, Sin Guangsu. Tokyo believes Sin helped to abduct a Japanese man named Tadaaki Hara in 1980. Mr. Hara, believed to be dead now, was forty-three years old at the time. Japanese police investigations suggest he was tricked by two men who said they had a job offer for him. It is thought he was kidnapped and taken to North Korea by boat.

The seventy-six-year-old Sin, already on an Interpol wanted list and thought to be in North Korea, is wanted by Tokyo for his alleged part in the kidnap of four other Japanese citizens. Japan made the request through diplomatic channels in Beijing as Japan and North Korea do not have diplomatic relations.

Japanese citizens are angry at North Korea for abducting a total of thirteen Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s. The captives were forced to train North Korean spies, to teach them about Japanese language and culture, in some cases so the spies could pose as Japanese nationals.

Pyongyang finally admitted as much in 2002, but only five of the thirteen were returned. Pyongyang said eight others had died.

Japan also issued an arrest warrant for the other of two men accused of carrying out the abduction of Mr. Hara. The second man is an elderly North Korean now living on a South Korean island.

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