Sun, Jan 01, 2006 - Page 4 News List

Two kidnapped Japanese identify N Korean agents

AFP , TOKYO

Two Japanese abducted by North Korean agents nearly 30 years ago have for the first time identified the two agents they say were responsible for their kidnappings, prompting police to seek arrests, reports said yesterday.

Yasushi Chimura, 50, and Kaoru Hasuike, 48, told police North Korean agent Sin Gwang-su and another agent identified as "Pak" were responsible for their kidnappings, the reports said.

Sin is already on an international wanted list for the 1980 abduction of another Japanese Tadaaki Hara, while Japanese police placed Pak on a wanted list in March 1985 for violation of the passport law and other offenses, the reports said.

Tokyo intends to ask Pyongyang for cooperation in locating and extraditing the agents to Japan during bilateral talks scheduled to resume in January, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

North Korea had admitted to kidnapping some Japanese during the Cold War to train its spies in Japanese language and culture.

Since Pyongyang has agreed to resume talks on the abduction issue, Tokyo believes the North would make a new proposal to solve the issue, which has kept the two nations from normalizing ties, the Tokyo Shimbun reported.

Chimura and his wife Fukie, 50, were snatched and put into sacks in a park along the coast of Obama, 350km west of Tokyo, and taken aboard a ship in July 1978.

A few weeks later, Hasuike and his wife Yukiko, 49, also were forced into sacks on a beach at Kashiwazaki, 200km north of the capital, and taken to North Korea.

They returned Japan in 2002 with another abductee Hitomi Soga, 46.

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