Tuesday, 20th July 2010
In Events In Japan,
Ex-North Korean spy heads to Japan for visit
A North Korean woman who used to spy for her country - and at one point blew up a South Korean aircraft, resulting in the deaths of all 115 people on board - has travelled to Japan to meet the families of people allegedly kidnapped by the regime, according to local news sources.
In the 1970s and 1980s North Korea kidnapped some 13 Japanese citizens to train its spies to speak Japanese, the country admitted eight years ago. In 2002, five of the abducted Japanese were allowed to return home but North Korea claimed that the others who were taken were now dead.
Kim Hyon-hui said that she was coached in Japanese by one of the kidnapped citizens and has travelled to Japan to meet their relatives.
Since North Korea claimed the others were no longer alive, Tokyo has asked for proof of their death and an investigation. It also believes that North Korea may still be holding nearly 20 more abducted citizens.
Relations between North Korea and Japan are traditionally frosty though the reclusive regime receives aid from Japan via the World Food Program.
Written by Kimberley Homer.
Related news stories:
Japanese minister apologises for Korean rule (11th February 2010)
Japan hopes to add Fukuoka ancient monuments to UNESCO list (29th July 2015)