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After 28 Years, Abducted Son Returns

Posted June. 29, 2006 03:21,   


Kim Young-nam, 45, who was kidnapped to North Korea as a high school student in 1978, met his mother from South Korea, 82, at Geumgangsan Hotel after 28 years of separation.

Kim met his mother and Young-ja, 48, his elder sister in a family reunion session, which was the first schedule of the fourth session of the 14th round family reunion at 3:00 p.m. in Mt. Geumgang.

Kim Young-nam was abducted from Seonyudo Beach in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province, on August 5, 1978, when he was in the first grade of Gunsan Mechanical & Technical High School. After his abduction, it appeared he entered and graduated from Kim Jong Il Political and Military University, and worked as an agent for South Korea-related agency under pseudonyms such as Kim Chul-jun and Kim Young-soo. He still works in the agency as a researcher.

Upon meeting her son, Mrs. Choi touched his face, saying, “Are you Young-nam, my son?” and cried with him as he replied, “Yes, mom. It’s me. It’s your youngest son.” He talked to his mother for a long time, asking how she and his siblings had been for the last 28 years, holding her.

Their meeting was held at a room on the second floor of the hotel, separated from other families. It was opened to the public only for the first 10 minutes of the meeting.

What is not yet known is if he mentioned how he had been kidnapped or his late Japanese wife Megumi Yokota.

Kim is expected to hold a press conference for about half an hour in the afternoon of June 29 and tell the truth about his marriage with Yokota, the cause of her death and her remains that had been sent to Japan.

Also with Kim in the meeting were his second wife Park Chun-hwa, 31, whom he married in 1997 in the North, as well as his 19-year-old daughter, Hye-kyong (Eun-kyong is her official name in the North), and his 7-year-old son, Chul-bong.

Meanwhile, 98 South Koreans and their 51 family members visited Mt. Geumgang for the special family reunion session, held in commemoration of the sixth anniversary of the June 15th inter-Korean summit and the Joint Declaration in 2000.

The visitors are scheduled to participate in a welcoming dinner party hosted by the North Korean authorities in the evening of the day, and on June 29, have a separate reunion session and lunch with their Northern family members, and visit Samilpo, a tourist attraction of North Korea. On the following day, they will return to Sokcho, a South Korean city, through an overland route after having another separate reunion session in the morning.