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Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 14:53 03/09/2007
News Review #257: October 19, 2004

Bush Signs N Korea Aid Laws

Reviewed by Hitoshi URABE

"Bush Signs N Korea Aid Laws"
ABC NewsOnline


Let us first briefly recap on the case of what North Korea kidnapping Japanese citizens.

North Korea, or what they want themselves be called The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), is a dictatorship under the absolute rule of Kim Jong Il, son of his father, the late Kim Il Sung, the DPRK's "eternal president."

In September 2002, Kim Jong Il confessed to Japan's Prime Minister Koizumi the involvement of DPRK's governmental arm in the kidnappings of Japanese citizens that took place between 1977 and 1983. A month after Mr Koizumi's face-to-face dialog with Kim Join Il, five surviving victims were allowed to visit Japan. Apparently against prior understanding between the governments, the victims, who had been in North Korea for a quarter of a century without any contact with outside world, at that point expressed their strong desire to remain in Japan, which the Japanese government, and the people warmly accommodated. In May this year, the families of the five victims returned to Japan, and they are now endeavoring in their own ways to recoup the decades deprived by the rogue regime.

Japan is also seeking an accounting for 10 Japanese said - by North Korea - to be dead or never to have entered North Korea, and expecting to gain answers regarding numerous other cases of suspected abductions of Japanese nationals.

Also, many South Koreans are believed to have been abducted in the 1970s and 1980s. The South Korean Government has compiled a list of 486 South Korean citizens, most of whom were fishermen, abducted since the 1950-53 Korean War.

In addition, other reported cases of kidnapping, hostage-taking, and other acts of violence took place, apparently intended to intimidate ethnic Koreans living in China and Russia. Other than what has been admitted to Mr Koizumi, North Korea continues to deny its involvement in kidnappings of other foreign nationals.

The article introduced above reports that the US President Bush has signed a law to aid North Korea. Dubbed as "North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004," the objective of the law in its entirety is not intended to punish North Korea, but rather it tries to help North Korea by introducing the notion of human rights into the society.

In the law, there are a couple of points making specific references to Japan.

In Section 3 titled "Findings", in subsection (25), it states "In addition to infringing the rights of its own citizens, the Government of North Korea has been responsible in years past for the abduction of numerous citizens of South Korea and Japan, whose condition and whereabouts remain unknown."

Also, in Section 202 - "Assistance Provided Inside North Korea" subsection (c)-(3), it states "No department, agency, or entity of the United States Government may provide nonhumanitarian assistance to any department, agency, or entity of the Government of North Korea unless such United States Government department, agency, or entity certifies in writing to the appropriate congressional committees that the Government of North Korea has made substantial progress toward ---- fully disclosing all information regarding citizens of Japan and the Republic of Korea abducted by the Government of North Korea."

With full respect to all the hassles and patience required in international diplomacy, the US so far is the only country which, through its own legislation, showed sympathy and support for Japanese citizens mercilessly abducted and ruthlessly confined by North Korea, denied of basic human rights.

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