Yokota’s Daughter Claims No Memory of Mother; Husband Back N. Korea

The daughter of Japanese abductee Megumi Yokota told her paternal aunt that she does not remember her mother at all, as her South Korean father backs North Korea’s claims that his first wife committed suicide.

On Sunday, the sister of Kim Young Nam, a South Korean abducted by the North who is said to have married Yokota, revealed that her niece Kim Eun Gyong, 18, said she has no recollection of her mother, according to the Japanese newspaper Daily Yomiuri.

However, four years ago, the 18-year-old had spoken of memories of her mother to a Japanese government inspection team when it visited Pyongyang. She had said, “we visited the mountains, the beach and other places together so many times,” said Eun Gyong in September 2002.

The South Korean family of Kim Young Nam met for the first time after 28 years during a brief reunion at Mt. Kumgang resort in North Korea on June 28 to June 30 where he introduced his second wife, his son, and the said-to-be daughter of Yokota.

Megumi Yokota was abducted by North Korea in 1977 at the age of 13 off the shores of Niigata, Japan. Her parents have been advocating for her and other abductees’ release for nearly thirty years and have refused to believe North Korea’s claims that Megumi committed suicide in 1994. Sakie Yokota, Megumi’s mother, had accepted Christianity after her daughter’s abduction.

Despite the Yokota’s and Japan’s refusal to believe that Megumi is dead, her husband Kim Young Nam backed North Korea’s claim that his wife committed suicide after battling with depression during a press conference at the North Korean resort last Thursday. Moreover, Kim denied that he was abducted by North Korea but instead said that he was saved by the country’s ship.

"I will never believe that Megumi died," said Sakie, 70, according to Japan Times in response to Kim’s statements. "I am boiling over with anger against such a country that would have (Kim) say these kinds of things impassively."

North Korea has been called the world’s worst human rights violator and was recommended by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom to be re-designated as a country of particular concern in May for its’ engagement in “systematic and egregious violations of religious freedom.”

Kim Young Nam’s sister said that she and her 78-year-old mother would like to accept her brother’s invitation to visit him in Pyongyang in August for a second reunion, reported Kyodo News.