22 Jan

Have you ever heard about North Korea’s abductions of other countries’ citizens?

They have abducted many people, mostly South Koreans, to help teach their spies English, Japanese and South Korean language and customs.

After years of denying that abductions have occurred, North Korea’s leader, Kimg Jong-Il admitted to then-Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi in 2002 that they abducted 13 Japanese (Japan claims the total is actually much higher), but all but five have died…although they failed to produce the remains or any other proof of the eight Japanese deaths—not even a death certificate.

In October 2002, the five Japanese abductees that North Korea admitted were alive were permitted to return to Japan for a temporary visit. But once they were back on Japan’s soil, the Japanese government informed North Korea that they won’t be returning them to North Korea.
That seems common sense to most people…but North Korea was angered.

When the five abductees returned to Japan, it was huge news in Japan!
When they first stepped off of the plane, they looked and acted like North Koreans. They had label pins of Kim Jong-Il’s image and they were quiet and hesitant to answer questions. They had been living in North Korea for about twenty-five years! But they soon began to relax and feel comfortable in Japan again…and their appearances physically changed…they began to look Japanese again.

One of the five returnees was Hitomi Soga. She returned alone…but her husband and two daughters were still in North Korea.
Her husband is Charles Robert Jenkins. He’s an American Army deserter. During the Vietnam War, he was stationed in South Korea…but when he learned that he would be sent to the battle zone in Vietnam, he defected to North Korea—and immediately regretted his decision!
He didn’t want to visit Japan with his wife because he feared Japan would turn him over to the American authorities to face desertion charges.
Since his wife would be staying in Japan and not return to North Korea, Japan negotiated with North Korea to allow Jenkins and his daughters to come to Japan.
Jenkins came to Japan and surrendered to American authorities at a U.S. Army base in Japan. He was found guilty of desertion and sentenced to thirty-days confinement and a Dishonorable Discharge.

He currently lives in Western Japan with his wife Hitomi Soga and their two daughters. He is in the process of becoming a naturalized Japanese citizen.

The most famous of the Japanese abductees in Megumi Yokota. She was just thirteen-years old when she was kidnapped by North Korean agents as she was walking home from school in November 1977.


Megumi Yokota would be 44 years old now. And North Korea said that she has a Korean husband and a daughter. But she wasn’t one of the five returnees in 2002…North Korea told Japan that she committed suicide in 1994.
When asked, North Korea couldn’t produce a death certificate or remains of Megumi, at first…they suddenly they offered Japan her cremated remains, but Japan conducted a DNA test on the ashes and discovered that they were the ashes of numerous people—none of which was Megumi Yokota!

Most Japanese (including the Yokota family) feel that Megumi Yokota is still alive in North Korea.

Megumi Yokota’s parents and the relatives of the other remaining abductees continue to petition the Japanese government (and the U.S. government) to pressure North Korea to return all abductees to their home countries.

There is a movie about Megumi Yokota‘s story…and her mother wrote a book (which has recently been translated into English).

I have been following the story of Megumi Yokota since I first heard about it around ten years ago. I can’t imagine her parents’ pain.

11 Responses to “Abduction”

  1. Chris July 7, 2009 at 3:31 am #

    The abduction cases never made any sense to me, but then again, most of what North Korea does makes no sense to me.


    • tokyo5 July 7, 2009 at 9:55 pm #

      Supposedly North Korea abducted people from other countries to train their spies how to pass as locals in other countries.

      I wonder if it works.

      You’re right, though…North Korea’s leaders act bizarre.


  2. Mom February 25, 2009 at 12:56 am #

    Your may be right on both counts. I do know that many countries use whatever it takes to control people but I didn’t think about the present regime setting up a line to follow in their footsteps. The only real possible solution is for divine intervention. That’s my belief anyway.


    • tokyo5 February 25, 2009 at 11:59 pm #

      Even some “democratically elected” leaders do more harm than good.


  3. Mom February 24, 2009 at 3:25 am #

    Insane-I agree! Maybe him and his sons will die together, I shouldn’t think like that but if it meant a way for freedom to open up in Korea it would serve a good purpose. maybe instead of hoping for their death I should hope for the people to wake up and rebell until they get a leader who is more deserving to lead them. Not that my thoughts will bring anything about anyway!


    • tokyo5 February 24, 2009 at 9:51 pm #

      That’s probably not a solution. Undoubtedly, they have designated people in line to reign beyond Jong-Il’s family…just in case.

      Anyway, North Korea isn’t the only country that uses propaganda and brain-washing to control the people.


  4. Mom February 22, 2009 at 12:53 am #

    What sad news! I cannot imagine the pain of those poor parents either. It is unimaginable! I do remember hearing about Jenkins and seeing him on the news. I am glad for him and his family, that they are now all together in Japan and have peace and freedom. It is a complete outrage that Kim Jon Il can get away with such dispisable tactics esp. of sending that poor mother false remains of her daughter. I hope his reign will end soon and someone with more honor and dignity will replace him-I think his own people would like that too.


    • tokyo5 February 22, 2009 at 1:19 am #


      >I hope his reign will end soon and someone with more honor and dignity will replace him

      As with all previous North Korean leaders, Kim Jong-Il will remain in power for life.

      He assumed power when his father died…and he has already announced which of his sons will replace him as the country’s leader when he dies.

      Kim Jong-Il recently celebrated his birthday, BTW.
      North Korea tells their people all types of crazy propaganda…including some about Kim Jong-Il’s birth. Things like there was a “double rainbow” over his place of birth when he was born…and that ice instantly melted with loud noise at the moment of his birth!

      North Korea must be an insane place!


  5. tokyo5 January 24, 2009 at 1:35 am #

    The film “Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story” just received the duPont-Columbia University Award, one of America’s highest awards for journalism from “The Journalism School at Columbia University“.


  6. tokyo5 January 23, 2009 at 12:12 am #


    And such excellent movies they make there in North Korea! (>_<)
    Like their "music“, it’s all just propaganda!


  7. Eric January 22, 2009 at 11:56 pm #

    I had heard about the South Korean actors that had been kidnapped. Apparently when Kim Jong Il wants you in his movie, you don’t have a choice.


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