Saturday, March 26, 2005

What Happened to Megumi Yokota - Part 3

North Korea originally said that she died in March of 1993. When presented with credible reports of her alive in 1994 they changed their story to say that she committed suicide in 1994. These reports came from defectors from North Korea to South Korea, not the least of whom was An Myong Jin and Kaoru Hasuike, another abductee. Since then they have done whatever they could to obfuscate her life.

According to the "Dear Wacko-Man" Megumi was buried after her suicide, and her body dug up years later to be cremated by her "husband". This ashes were the supposed provided to Megumi's family in a so-called act of compassion. Some compassion, the ashes were fake. This was proved by DNA testing in Japan after the ashes arrive there. Read about it in these articles;
From the Japan Times, Remains not those of Yokota.
From the BBC, Japan fury over abductee remains.

Ah Myong Jin reports that the location of the photograph is well known to him as it is just outside of a training institute (college) for the Intelligence Agency of the DPRK. He says that there could not possibly have been a car there since she was standing in a place that is a historical commemoration of a visit by Kim Il Sung. There is a bench there and a memorial tree planted in memory of the visit. I do not have information of Megumi's height, but Ah also reports that the proportions of Megumi with respect to the car are incorrect (if this photo is true she would have to be very short). These two facts indicate that the image of the car was artificially pasted into the photo. Sadly, I do not have the links to these reports, they exist in Japanese news sources and are provided to me in translation by my wife.

Not only did the DPRK provide fake remains and falsified photographs of Megumi to her parents, in a bizarre and cruel twist, they want them back!
N Korea demands return of remains;
"Now that the ultra-right elements of Japan insist that the remains are not those of Megumi... the DPRK cannot but urge the Japanese side to return them just as they were along with the DNA test data as demanded by the husband of Megumi," the agency said.
Is she still alive? That possibility has been advanced by several sources. The Mainichi Daily News on November 24, 2004 reported, North Korean deserter says Yokota probably still alive;
Abduction victim Megumi Yokota, who North Korea insists died in the 1990s, is probably still alive, a former Pyongyang agent who deserted to South Korea said in an interview with the Mainichi in Tokyo.
The former agent believed the ashes given to the Japanese delegates were those of another person. He suspects that North Korean officials burned the person's body and claimed the ashes as Yokota's in a bid to make it impossible for Japanese officials to identify them.

During talks with the Japanese delegation, the man who claimed to be Yokota's husband refused to be photographed on the grounds that he worked for an intelligence office.

"I think he refused to be photographed because he is not her husband," An said.

An added that a Japanese abductee, not a North Korean, might be Yokota's husband.

As for North Korean officials' claims that most abduction records have been burned or discarded, An said, "Intelligence offices still use those records 20 or 30 years later. They never burn them."
How is it possible that she could yet live? There are rumors that she was a teacher of very senior officials and children of very senior officials of the DPRK including Kim Jong Il himself. An article that covers the photographs includes this rumor, Photos Intesify N. Korean Kidnap Outrage;
Media accounts have focused on inconsistencies in North Korean accounts of Yokota's death: changing dates, alleged contradictions in hospital records and suspicions that, as an attractive young woman, she was associated too closely with North Korea's elite to be allowed to leave.

"I imagine she had been very close to Kim Jong Il. I hear people say she had been his teacher and so on," said Kaneko Tomiyama, a 51-year-old Tokyo woman. "I think she was not allowed to return to Japan because she knew too much about the North."

The man identified as her husband also reportedly refused to provide hair and blood samples that would prove he fathered the girl identified as their daughter.
It is hard to imagine a more bizarre story of more cold-hearted cruelty than that shown by Kim Jong Il.

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