Kidnapping of foreign nationals is yet another of many crimes yet to be repudiated by the North Korean regime.
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Unfortunately, Kim Jong-il’s limited confession did not end North Korean kidnappings. Operations such as snatching hapless Japanese off of the beach or street may have ceased but, noted Yamamoto, “Recent abductions have been carried out inside China by North Korean military personnel — border guards — and have focused on those persons helping North Koreans to defect.” Moreover, “North Korean foreign intelligence operations since 2000 include a more militarily aggressive strategy involving clandestine military operations in neighboring countries.”
There are other criminal regimes in the world. But the DPRK stands in a category of its own. Once reform does come to the North — hopefully sooner rather than later — Pyongyang must take responsibility for the mass kidnappings. The regime must end abductions as policy, make an accounting of the past, and allow families to be reunited.
That might seem to be a long-shot, but Yamamoto argued that such a shift would be a good test of “the bona fides” of any purported reformers: “It would be difficult to expect a new group of leaders to make decisions that would be politically charged and immediately destabilizing, such as a decision to halt the nuclear program, open nuclear facilities for unannounced inspections, or forswear Kim Il-sungism. New leaders could be expected, however, to account for the captive citizens of foreign nations. There should be little domestic opposition to such a move, yet it could be a very reassuring signal for concerned nationals around the world.”
So far “Cute Leader” Kim Jong-un gives no evidence of being such a reformer. The regime’s planned rocket launch demonstrates continuity in the family dictatorship. Since his wife likes designer handbags, perhaps the Kims will offer designer hand-cuffs in North Korea’s prisons. Still, some day the North’s desperate need for outside cash and expertise may lead to real change. If so, the rest of the world should expect the North Korean regime to firmly repudiate kidnapping as policy.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?