Korea: May 22, 2004


Japan's Prime Minister went to North Korea and negotiated a ransom for five children born to Japanese kidnapped years ago to serve as language instructors in North Korea. Japan had already paid millions in cash and goods to obtain the release of  five kidnapped Japanese (eight others had died in captivity). But their spouses and children were not allowed to travel to Japan. But now, in return for 250,000 tons of rice and $10 million worth of medicine and other goods, the five children have been released. One of the spouses, an American soldier who deserted to North Korea in the 1960s, refused to leave, fearing that he would be arrested by American authorities for desertion. His two children also remained in North Korea. 


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