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‘NK Leader Ordered Kidnapping of Japanese’

Posted November. 03, 2009 08:27,   


A leading Japanese daily yesterday said incumbent North Korean leader Kim Jong Il ordered the kidnapping of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 80s.

The Asahi Shimbun quoted a Japanese official as saying, “North Korea’s kidnapping of Japanese in the 1970s and 1980s was ordered by National Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong Il, who was then general secretary of the North Korean Workers’ Party.”

“Kim had direct control over the external information investigation department of the Workers’ Party, which was in charge of planning and implementing the kidnapping plans. Whenever an order was delivered, party members even held a ceremony.”

The official said orders were delivered from Kim to the heads and vice heads of departments, managers, instructors and agents. The external information investigation department consisted of three vice department heads and seven units. Each unit was responsible for collecting data on other nations including South Korea, China, and Japan or for nurturing agents.

When an order was delivered from Kim, officials held a ceremony at party headquarters. The order was then verbally and literally delivered from managers to instructors, who, in turn, delivered it to agents. Those violating the order were replaced or executed.

Japan has long suspected Kim of directly ordering the kidnappings or being aware of them, but this is the first time for Tokyo to disclose such data about the incidents.

At a September 2002 summit between North Korea and Japan, Kim made an official apology to then Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, saying, “Certain government organizations in charge of special duties engaged in several affairs (including the kidnappings) due to their thoughtlessness and heroism. We’ve already punished the person in charge of the kidnappings.”

The Asahi report said, “Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has a plan to normalize relations with North Korea by comprehensively dealing with the kidnapping, nuclear and missile issues. But this could face a new challenge in the wake of the disclosure that Kim was directly involved in the kidnappings.”