A South Korean man allegedly abducted decades ago by the North was reunited with his mother Wednesday at a North Korean resort.
Kim Young-nam disappeared from a beach on South Korea’s southwest coast in 1978 when he was 16 and was believed to have been abducted by North Korean agents. He met his mother, Choi Gye-wol, 78, at the North’s Diamond Mountain resort amid other reunions of Koreans divided between the North and South, according to pool reports.
The reunion, proposed by North Korea, is drawing intense attention in South Korea and Japan because it could shed light on whether a Japanese abductee whom Kim is believed to have married is dead, as claimed by the North.
“I am very happy to see you are so healthy,” Kim told his mother as the two hugged each other crying, according to television footage. “Stop crying, why do you cry on such a happy day?”
The mother, sitting in a wheelchair, responded, saying, “You look so much like how you were.”
Accompanying Kim was his daughter, Kim Hae Kyong, whom he is believed to have fathered with the Japanese abductee, Megumi Yokota. Also present were a woman and a boy, identified by South Korean television channel YTN as Kim’s new wife and son.