Secretary to consider ways to apply pressure on North Korea

*Rough translation of the infoletter distributed to the supporter members of NARKN. for further questions, contact:

AFVKN members, Shigeru Iizuka, Chairman, and Mr. and Mrs. Shigeru Yokota met with Secretary Clinton today at the American Embassy in Tokyo. The meeting scheduled for 10-15 minutes extended to 30 minutes.  The letter addressed to Secretary Clinton was given to one of the ministers prior to the meeting.  The minister promised that the letter would be handed to the Secretary, however, the family members mentioned about the letter in their meeting.


The following is the summary of Mr. Iizuka, and Mr. and Mrs. Yokota’s comment regarding the meeting with the Secretary.


Secretary would like to consider ways to press pressure against North Korea.


Secretary Clinton began the meeting by telling the family members that she is there to listen to their story.  It seemed that she had been briefed on Megumi Yokota and Yaeko Taguchi.  The secretary listened earnestly to their stories.


Shigeo Iizuka:  All countries know that North Korea was behind the bombing of the South Korean airliner but North Korea does not admit it.  I told the Secretary that if I can meet with Kim Hyon-hui, the former NK agent who planted the bomb, we can make North Korea admit that North Korea was responsible for the bombing.  The Secretary made no response to that.  She asked me who took care of my sister (Yaeko Taguchi)’s children and I told her that my younger sister and I took the children aged one and two in to raise them after Yaeko was kidnapped.


Three decades is too long.  To let North Korea think that we (the family members of the victims) would give up this fight is a tragedy. We also told that many more are abducted by North Korea and showed photos of the kidnapped.


The conversation took place in a mild atmosphere.  The Secretary appeared that she wanted to understand the situation as a mother.  She seemed eager to know what is going on.  However, she hardly touched upon the serious issue of removing North Korea from the U.S. list of state sponsoring terror. 


The secretary did mention that the NK is a very cruel state, and that she had been studying the state for a long time.  She said that she would like to consider how U.S. can put pressure on NK.  In regards to our actions, she said that we were brave and encouraged us to continue.  It seemed that the whole point of today’s meeting was to hear the family’s voices directly.  In that sense, I feel that this was a good achievement.


Shigeru Yokota:  I told her that any mother or father cannot stop fighting to bring their child back when they know where they are.  The secretary said that we were admirable.  I emphasized that we must bring back all the people that are held captive.  The families and the Japanese government are working on the basis that our they are all still alive.  It is our government’s responsibility to resolve this issue, however, I asked her again for the U.S. government’s support on this issue from the same stance as our government’s.


Sakie Yokota: I showed her five photos: Megumi in her school uniform, Megumi in her white blouse, Megumi with her husband and a one-year-old daughter Kim Hye-gyong, Hye-gyong by herself, and our family with Megumi, her two brothers and us.  I explained that something extraordinary had happened to an ordinary, happy family.  I also passed her the English book that I wrote regarding about my experience in trying to get my daughter back.  Secretary Clinton asked about the five Japanese who returned from North Korea.  We explained to her that all of them had some contact with Megumi.  They all knew that she had been forced to return to her home in North Korea when she tried to go back to Japan.  The returnees said that they told Megumi that she should not try to do that in North Korea. 

I also told Secretary Clinton that I was deeply disappointed when the U.S. removed North Korea from the terror list when I had met with President Bush.  When I asked her whether the removal was a temporary action, she said she would look into it.  Mr. Hill was also present in the meeting.  The secretary encouraged him to comment but he did not say anything then.  

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