December 05, 2023

How North Korea recruited overseas Koreans to kidnap Japanese citizens

Kim Kil Uk died without facing charges in Japan, and his case shows how Pyongyang used threats to get its way

The families of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea during the 1970s and 1980s lost an opportunity to see a suspect in a kidnapping brought to justice last week, as news broke of the death of a former DPRK agent wanted for his involvement in an abduction 43 years ago.

According to a report by the Yomiuri Shimbun citing sources close to the Japanese government, South Korea informed the Japanese police around a year ago that Kim Kil Uk, who had been on the international wanted list since 2006 in relation to the North’s abduction of Tadaaki Hara in 1980, died several years earlier in the ROK.