[EDITORIALS]Inaction is irresponsibleThe announcement by Tokyo that Japanese abductee Megumi Yokota’s husband was Kim Yong-nam, a South Korean kidnapped by the North in 1978, was shocking.
One can only be speechless when a 16-year-old student is kidnapped and used as a tutor for North Korean agents by the North Korean regime. As the kidnapping has been proven, North Korea must admit to it and apologize. This is not a matter from which the North can escape by arguing that it is a lie.
Above all, the irresponsible attitude of our own government in regard to the incident is making people angry. Japan received a personal apology and acknowledgement from the North’s leader for the abduction of Japanese nationals. But Japan didn’t stop there. It obtained hair samples from the daughter of Megumi Yokota for DNA testing when officials met her in 2002 in Pyongyang. When Japan received information that the North Korean Kim Chol-jun was the husband of Megumi Yokota, they met with him and collected more information. Upon receiving intelligence that he was one of five South Koreans abducted in 1977, Tokyo also collected somatic cell samples from his South Korean parents. After persistent efforts, Japan succeeded in finding out the true identity of Mr. Kim.
Our administration has been busy hiding the truth. When civic groups said that Kim Chol-jun was a South Korean, the government didn’t try to confirm their information, but turned a blind eye to the issue. After receiving an official notification from the Japanese government, the government still showed a relaxed attitude, saying it would try to confirm the facts first and then devise a response.
For four years, during which Japan moved back and forth between the South and North trying to identify one of its own people and devise a way to get him home, our government has whined about obstacles hindering the improvement of inter-Korean ties. A government that has neglected a nation’s first duty, to protect its citizens, cannot be called a government. Japan and the international community will look upon the Korean government with contempt.
An aging mother who has thought about her youngest son for the last 28 years has cried aloud in desperation that she wants to see her son and granddaughter before she dies. The government must use every means to bring back the abducted Mr. Kim. The North must make a decision based on humanitarian grounds.