N.Korea 'Kidnapped Other Asian Women'

      December 15, 2005 21:06

      North Korea may have abducted other Asians in addition to Japanese and South Koreans, the Monthly Chosun reports in its January edition to be released Friday. The magazine says a Chinese woman was also kidnapped by the North in Macau in 1978 along with Thai woman Anocha Panjoy.

      The Chinese woman was working for a jewelry shop in Macau when two young men approached her and asked to be shown round the city before she went missing. She was last seen boarding a ship.

      The information came to light when Tsutomu Nishioka, the deputy head of the National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea, showed a picture of the Chinese woman he obtained from Macau police to Korean actress Choi Eun-hee, who was abducted by the North along with her director husband Shin Sang-ok in 1978 and escaped in 1986. Nishioka said he thought the Chinese woman fit the description of a Ms. Hong mentioned in the couple's memoir "I Am Kim Jong-il."

      The magazine quotes Choi as initially saying it could be Hong, but after being told a story by U.S. deserter Charles Jenkins and reading Japanese and Hong Kong press reports, she became certain it was. Jenkins defected to the North in 1965 while serving in the U.S. Forces Korea in the DMZ. He married a Japanese woman there and now lives in Japan. It was Jenkins who identified the missing Thai woman. Reading his memoir "Confession" about his life in North Korea, where he says he lived in the same apartment as Anocha Panjoy, her brother sought out Jenkins to confirm it was her.

      A third woman went missing in Macau in July 1978, and Choi and Jenkins in their books quote Anocha and Hong as saying they were each abducted with two other women. It is unclear what happened to the third.

      Macau police investigated the incident for three years after the women disappeared but could find no evidence that they were kidnapped by North Korea. As a result, it categorized them as missing.

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