RescueAbductees meet with UK ambassador to Pyongyang

Members from the Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea (AFVKN: “The Families’ Association”), and the National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea (NARKN: “Rescue Abductees”) met with Peter Hughes, the UK’s Ambassador to Pyongyang at the British embassy in Tokyo, on October 23, 2009.

Members from our organizations attending the meeting were Shigeo Iizuka, Shigeru and Sakie Yokota, Teruaki Masumoto, Tsutomu Nishioka, and Ryutaro Hirata.

Comments from Ambassador Hughes –
I became the ambassador to Pyongyang thirteen months ago. This is my first visit to Japan since arriving to Pyongyang. I have been exchanging information with the Japanese government on this trip. I have raised the issue of abduction to North Korean officials. I wanted to meet with the relatives of the abductees directly to know more about this issue so that I am able to have deeper talks with Pyongyang officials.

I feel the despair of the family members of the abductees deeply and wish that I know how I could contribute to the resolution of this issue. I am free to go in and out of Pyongyang, but restricted to where I go and with whom I meet. Once I am back in Pyongyang, I would like to demand North Korea to treat this issue seriously and work for an early resolution.

Explanations from members of our organization –
We informed the ambassador on the gravity of this issue and that the victims come from all over the world. The number of known victims and the motives of abduction were shared. Japanese abductees had trained North Korean spies that bombed the South Korean airliner to disguise as Japanese. This is an example of how the victims have been forced to contribute to Pyongyang terrorist activities. We also explained to the ambassador that Pyongyang has been providing false evidence to prove that our family members are dead. Those include false remains and death certificates. We also introduced our free North Korea radio programs where we send information of this side of the world to North Korea. We asked the ambassador for continued support including sharing of information and protection of the victims

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