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Kidnapped Japanese`s Seven Children Sent Back To Japan Next Month

Kidnapped Japanese`s Seven Children Sent Back To Japan Next Month

Posted August. 20, 2003 21:20,   


It has been known that North Korea has expressed its intention to the Japanese government that marking the first anniversary of the “Pyongyang Declaration,” which was signed between North Korean leader Kim Jung-il and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in September 17, 2002, Pyongyang would send seven children of a Japanese abductee back to Japan.

According to a Japanese source, the North has conveyed its intention to the Japanese government and the two sides are now discussing the way and the timing of their repatriation to Japan.

The source said that North Korea and Japan are likely to work out the details of the proposed repatriation of a Japanese abductee`s children on the sideline of the planned six-way talks on the North`s nuclear weapons program to open on Aug.27 in Beijing, China.

In Japan, the Tokyo Shimbun reported Wednesday that the North had conveyed its intention of sending a kidnapped Japanese`s children back to Japan on the grounds of reaffirming humanitarian food aid and the spirit of the Pyongyang Declaration.

Meanwhile, in the North`s Peoples` Assembly elections held on Aug.3 to select its representatives, figures from the North`s army circles, which had dominated the assembly for a long time, were mostly excluded, which is drawing a keen attention.

A source familiar with developments in the North analyzed that news of a majority of military figures being excluded from their posts was confirmed through various information channels. The results of the elections in the North suggest that North Korean leader Kim Jung-il has an intention of carrying out political reforms, following economic reforms implemented last year.

The North`s Peoples Assembly elections were carried out in the form where voters can vote for or against a sole candidate. The lists of candidates are not disclosed. Like the past, only the election of the North`s defense chairman Kim Jung-il was made public. In addition, Judo heroine Gae Sun-hee` was elected as a county representative in county elections.

Hun-Joo Cho hanscho@donga.com