중앙데일리

Civic group seeks DNA to confirm abductee ID

Jan 05,2006
A South Korean civic group representing family members of people abducted by North Korea has asked the Japanese and South Korean government to investigate the identity of the husband of a female Japanese abductee, who the North claim is North Korean but they suspect was kidnapped from the South in the 70s.
Choi Seong-yong, who represents the group Abductee Family Assembly, said yesterday that the group asked the Blue House, the South Korean Foreign Ministry, the Japanese Foreign Ministry and the prime minister’s office for DNA testing and comparisons. Mr. Choi said that family members suspect that Kim Chol-jun, identified by North Korea as the husband of Megumi Yokota, who according to the North married Mr. Kim in 1986 but committed suicide in 1994, is not a North Korean but an abducted South Korean. A source in Tokyo recently said that Tokyo was informed of such claims and Asahi TV in Japan has also reported them.
Family members of five South Koreans high school students who were abducted in 1977 have provided DNA samples and want a comparison with DNA samples from the daughter of Ms. Yokota, that Tokyo officials obtained in 2002 during an interview in Pyongyang.
The source said that Tokyo has asked Seoul to help with the DNA comparison but the South is reluctant to help for fear of agitating the North over the issue.
Nevertheless, Mr. Choi argued that the identification of abductees is an issue that the government needs to address, rather than leaving it to a civic group.


by Chae Byung-gun


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