Tuesday, March 22, 2005

What Happened to Megumi Yokota - Part 1

This is a question that I have intended to post on for some time. The case of Megumi Yokota has special poignancy for Japanese people. Her case is mentioned in two previous posts;
North Korea Kidnaps Japanese - Background and
North Korea Lies To Japanese Families (this post includes the hint that Megumi may still be alive).

After she was kidnapped and grew up (she was still a child of 13 when she was taken) she became a teacher of North Korean spies one of whom was involved with the "spy" who bombed a South Korean airliner in 1987.

Megumi in a photo supplied by the DPRK

Kim Jong Il admitted to Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi that agents of his personality cult government had kidnapped 13 Japanese nationals (an act of war, BTW). Megumi was kidnapped on November 15th, 1977.

In a story published the day after Kim's confession to Mr. Koizumi The Guardian published the story with this about Megumi;
Megumi Yokota, the first of those on the list provided by the North Korean authorities, was 13 when she failed to return from a badminton class in 1977. She was last seen walking on her usual route home along a coastal road in Niigata, northern Japan. For 20 years, her parents thought she was just one of the thousands of people who go missing each year, but then reports started to emerge that a Japanese woman of her age and appearance had been seen in Pyongyang.

One captured agent had told them that Megumi had been carried off by boat and that she had struggled so hard in the hold of the vessel that she arrived in North Korea covered in blood from trying to scratch at the hull.

Ahead of yesterday's meeting between the two leaders, her parents had been hopeful for news that she was still alive. Instead, they were told that she had married, left a daughter and died.
More to follow.

No comments: