Monday, May 15, 2006

One Japanese man South Koreans should rally behind

Shigeru Yokota, the father of Megumi Yokota, a Japanese woman abducted by North Korean agents in 1977 when she was a teenager, has arrived in South Korea to meet with family members of Kim Young-nam, the South Korean 1978 kidnap victim believed to be her husband.

In addition to sharing a tragic story of a family torn apart by the evil done by North Korea's regime, Megumi's parents and Young-nam's mother also have a granddaughter in common.

Here's hoping that the press will again take the opportunity to focus on this horrific story and how past and present ROK administrations (of all political stripes) have done little or nothing about this issue.

While in Seoul, Mr. Yokota has
recorded a message to his daughter in the hope that she is still alive to hear it (the North Korean authorities who finally admitted the young Miss Yokota had been abducted also said she was dead).

The message was recorded at the Freedom North Korea Broadcast radio station in Seoul, a station run by North Korean defectors that beams programs into the North.

Mr. Yokota's message, along with those of his son Tetsuya and other abductees' relatives, will be broadcast into North Korea for three days starting Thursday.

In a solemn voice, Shigeru Yokota said: "All of the people in Japan are waiting for your return. I am looking forward to living with you again."

Mr. Yokota plans to visit not just Kim Young-nam's mother, but also each of three groups in South Korea that represent families of abductees, as well as Park Geun Hye, leader of the conservative opposition Hannara Party.

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