No Progress in Cracking Down on N. Korean Abduction Suspects

Society

Tokyo, Sept. 17 (Jiji Press)--Progress has stalled on investigations over North Korean abductions of Japanese nationals, with no prospects of arresting suspects 20 years after Pyongyang admitted for the first time to abducting Japanese citizens.

Japanese police have determined that 19 people are victims of North Korean kidnappings, including two children of Korean nationality who have disappeared. Meanwhile, the possibility of abduction cannot be ruled out for 871 others.

The 13 cases identified as North Korean abductions occurred between 1974 and 1983 in the prefectures of Niigata, Ishikawa, Fukui, Hyogo, Tottori, Miyazaki and Kagoshima, as well as in Europe.

Police authorities have identified suspects in eight cases, including one involving the kidnapping of Yasushi Chimura and his wife, who returned to Japan in October 2002.

They have released international notices on a total of 11 people as wanted suspects, including Sin Gwang-su, a North Korean agent, and Kimihiro Uomoto, who was a member of a group that hijacked a Japan Airlines <9201> plane in 1970. The Japanese Foreign Ministry is demanding that North Korea hand over the suspects.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press