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Bush to Meet North Korean Defectors

Posted April. 28, 2006 06:57,   


Washington diplomatic sources said on April 27 that U.S. president George W. Bush would meet with the family of Megumi Yokota who was reportedly abducted to North Korea in 1977 and died, and the family of Kim Han-mi (6) who defected from North Korea in 2002, at his office in the White House for about an hour on April 28.

According to sources, Bush plans to invite the two families to the Oval Office on April 28, the last day of the Week for North Korean Human Rights (April 22 to 28) to talk to them about their sufferings and mention the importance of improving the human rights situation in the Stalinist country.

The Kim family was caught by Chinese security police during their attempt to enter the Japanese consulate general in Shenyang, China in May 2002 after they had fled North Korea. At the time, Kim Han-mi was two years old.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said in his regular briefing on the day, “We are deeply concerned about the predicament and suffering of North Koreans under the Kim Jong Il regime. This is one of major concerns for the president.”

He also said, “President Bush often brought up this issue when he met with leaders of countries, such as Chinese president Hu Jintao. And he firmly believes that the world should not tolerate the human rights conditions in North Korea.”

Seung-Ryun Kim srkim@donga.com