Seoul to Collaborate with Tokyo on North Korean Abductee Information

SEOUL - South Korea's Unification Minister Kim Yung-ho has announced plans to gather and share data on Japanese abductees in North Korea with the Japanese government, a significant step aimed at addressing a long-standing issue between Japan and North Korea.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Kim stated that the South Korean government intends to obtain information from North Korean defectors and share it with Japan. The initiative involves expanding the questionnaire for defectors, previously limited to South Korea or another country as potential responses regarding nationality, to include Japan, potentially uncovering more details about the abductees.

This move aligns with the commitments made during the Camp David summit last year, where leaders from South Korea, the United States, and Japan emphasized their dedication to resolving human rights issues, including the abduction of Japanese nationals by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s. Japan maintains that 17 of its citizens were abducted, with 12 still believed to be in North Korea, a claim stemming from admissions made by North Korea during a 2002 visit by then Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to Pyongyang.

In addition to addressing the abduction issue, Kim highlighted the importance of establishing a strong deterrence against North Korean military provocations through trilateral cooperation among South Korea, the United States, and Japan. Furthermore, Kim's interview touched on the dynamics of North Korea's power succession, noting an apparent increase in the protocol level for Kim Jong-un's daughter, Ju-ae, and a relative decrease in the prominence of Kim's sister, Yo-jong.

scroll to top