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Thought Kidnapped, Kim Says Otherwise

Posted June. 30, 2006 03:25,   


Kim Young-nam, 45, believed to have been kidnapped to North Korea as a high school student, denied he was abducted on June 29.

Kim said at a press conference at Hotel Geumgangsan where the 14th family reunion was held, “I was not kidnapped. Nor did I come here willingly. It was an accident.”

He said that Megumi Yokota, his first wife, “died on April 13, 1994,” contradicting the Japanese government’s argument that she is alive.

He said, “On August 5, 1978, in the first year of high school, I visited Seonudo beach. I hid myself in a small wooden boat to avoid my seniors who told me to find the recorder they had lent to their friends.”

Kim continued to say, “I pulled the boat to the sea a little and fell asleep. When I woke up, I couldn’t see the island and it was a vast sea. I requested a rescue by waving my shirt, and a passing ship responded to me. After being rescued, I found the boat had been from the North.”

About Megumi Yokota, he raised his voice, saying, “Nobody would lie that a live person is dead. That is insulting both to me and Megumi.”

On the cause of her death, he said, “Even before marrying, she would say she had hurt her brain. I thought her physical condition deteriorated to the point where she could not lead a life as a wife and mother, so I sent her to a hospital. Unfortunately, the treatment did not go well. After many attempted suicides out of depression, she eventually ended her life in the hospital.”

He also added a word of praise for North Korea, saying, “Here, I did not have to pay for the college. My notions on North Korean society started to change after getting the kindness and special treatment of North Koreans.”