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Abductee, Mom to Be Reunited at Last

Posted June. 09, 2006 07:16,   


Kim Young-nam (44), who had been abducted to the North as a high school student in 1978, will meet his mother, Choi Gye-wol (82), after 28 years of separation.

“Recently, authorities confirmed the whereabouts of Kim Young-nam,¡° Kwon Ho Ung, the North`s chief delegate to the inter-Korean ministerial talks, told his South Koran counterpart, Unification Minister Lee Jong-seok, in a telegram on June 8. He went on to say that Pyongyang will arrange a meeting of Kim and his mother during the special reunion sessions at Mt. Geumgang.

This is the first time that the North has confirmed Kim is alive since his abduction to North Korea was made known to public in 1997. Reportedly, Kim is the husband of Megumi Yokota (presumed to have died in 1994), a Japanese kidnap victim. She was at the center of the tension between Japan and North Korea as the North sent false ashes of her several years ago.

Cho Yong-nam, head of the ministry`s social and cultural exchanges bureau, said in a press conference on the afternoon of June 8 that South Korea welcomed Pyongyang’s latest decision. He also said, “The special reunion sessions for the separate families will be held from June 19 to 30. Mr. Kim and his mother will meet between 22 and 24, when a first group of South visitors come to Mt. Geumgang.

The Unification Ministry decided on June 9 to enlist the family of Kim Young-nam into the special reunion program.