Korea Celebrates Reunions as North Korea Continues Abductions


Here is the story behind one of the tearful reunions this week in Korea.

South Korean mother Kim Jong-sim, right, cries with her son Jung Il-nam, left, who was a fisherman abducted to North Korea in 1987, during the second round of the 12th reunion since the two Koreas agreed to promote peace and reconciliation at an unprecedented summit between their leaders in 2000, at Diamond Mountain in North Korea, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2005. A group of 144 South Koreans left for the North Korea Tuesday to hold reunions with relatives there for the first time in over five decades. (AP Photo/Yonhap, Jin Sung-chul)

From the JoongAng Daily North Korea (Via One Free Korea)

Abductee is “Allowed” Reunion

A South Korean fisherman abducted to North Korea was reunited with his mother after nearly two decades of life in the communist country. The tearful meeting was a part of the two Koreas’ separated family reunions at the mountain resort here.

Kim Jong-sim, 74, told her first son of his father’s death five years ago as she burst into tears. Jeong Il-nam, 50, unsuccessfully tried to hold back his tears. His North Korean wife tried to calm her mother-in-law.

Mr. Jeong was one of the 12 crewmen aboard the Dongjin, which was seized by a North Korean patrol boat on Jan. 15, 1987. The North’s Red Cross said a week after the abduction that it would return the crew to the South, but the promise was never kept. In 1998, North Korea announced that Dongjin was a spy ship and said the crew had “voluntarily” asked to stay in the North. The families of the 12 fishermen organized a lobby in 2000 and filed a suit against the government last year.

Mr. Jeong, who met his mother with a North Korean official beside them, was the 11th South Korean abductee allowed by the North to attend a reunion, and the fourth Dongjin crew member to do so.

At yesterday’s (November 8, 2005) reunion, 99 South Koreans were allowed to see 200 North Korean family members.

But, Joshua at One Free Korea points out the little known fact that…
the abductions by North Korea continue:

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This paragraph is from a letter by Henry Hyde, Chairman of the Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives, to North Korean Ambassador Pak on November 4th, 2005.

Here the letter continues to describe the abduction of a 13 year old school girl!
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Megumi Yokata was a 13 year old school girl when she was kidnapped by North Korea 28 years ago.

Korea has admitted it is holding 21 South Koreans, many from the 1950-1953 War and 13 Japanese.
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The actual number of abductees is estimated to be much higher.

Korean Mediator is reporting that this Sunday “Undercover in a Secret State” is going to be aired on CNN on Sunday, Nov. 13, 8 p.m. (via One Free Korea)

Joshua at One Free Korea has a letter posted from Henry Hyde dated November 4, 2005 asking for complete resolution to the abduction issue involving North Korea with Japan and the Republic of Korea.

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