KAL Bomber Meets Abduction Victim's Family

      March 12, 2009 07:47

      Kim Hyun-hee embraces Shigeo Izuka, the head of an association of Japanese abduction victims' families, at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center on Wednesday.

      The surviving bomber of Korean Air flight 858 in 1987 on Wednesday met with the family of a Japanese woman abducted by North Korea who she claims taught her Japanese in the North. "The bombing of the KAL flight was a terrorist act committed by North Korea," Kim Hyun-hee (47) said. "I'm no longer a fake person."

      Kim met Koichiro Izuka (32), the eldest son of Yaeko Taguchi, and Shigeo Izuka (70), her elder brother who is the head of an association of Japanese families of abduction victims at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center. Later she told reporters, "Some members of the bereaved families still suspect that the bombing was cooked up. It's heartbreaking to find them still ignorant of who did it even 20 years after the event."

      Talking about Taguchi, Kim said while staying at a guest house in North Korea from January to October 1987, she heard North Korean officials say that Taguchi had been taken somewhere, "but they didn't have any idea." "Back then, I thought she hadn't died but had been taken somewhere else. I also heard that she was forced to marry in 1986," she added.

      Commenting on her meeting with the Taguchi family, Kim said, "I haven't slept for a few nights. Yaeko's son reminds me of his mother. He is handsome just like her. How glad Taguchi would be if she knew I've met her son! I wish she were here with us."

      Izuka said, "I received evidence that my mother is certainly alive. I have new hope for our rescue efforts."

      Kim has been complaining that the National Intelligence Service under Roh Moo-hyun administration tried to intimidate her into appearing on TV to fuel rumors that the KAL bombing, which killed 115 people, was a setup by the South Korean intelligence service.

      "Since I got married in 1997, I tried to live a quiet life, keeping a distance from society and thinking of the victims of the bombing and their brokenhearted bereaved families," she said.

      But she declined to go into detail again, saying, "I'm waiting for the outcome of the ongoing investigation by the current government into what happened."

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