4 NGO Members Named in NK Arrest Warrants

Two LFNKR Members on the List

Japanese news media are reporting that North Korea has issued arrest warrants for four Japanese NGO workers. The men have reportedly been named as suspects in the abduction of North Korean citizens. The North Korean Ministry of People’s Security, announced on 27 March 2006 the issue of arrest warrants and notified the Japanese government via diplomatic channels, demanding that the four be handed over to North Korean custody.

The four are Kato Hiroshi and Noguchi Takayuki of Life Funds for North Korean Refugees, Yamada Fumiaki of the Society to Help Returnees to North Korea, and Lee Yong Hwa of Rescue the North Korean People! Urgent Action Network.

According to North Korean diplomatic sources, the arrest warrants follow Japan’s clampdown on the General Association of Korean Residents (Chongryon) in Japan.

Recently, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department began an investigation into the suspected participation of a Chongryon sub-organization in the abduction of Hara Tadaaki, a Japanese citizen. The Police have also placed a former North Korean agent on an internationally wanted list because of the abduction.

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Kato’s sudden disappearance, the suspense, his treatment, and an interview after he returned.

Noguchi’s arrest and hurry-up Sunday trial, and his release after 8 months in a Chinese prison.