Japanese parents of daughter, abducted by North Korea, meet legacy left behind

Couple sees granddaughter and great-granddaughter for first time

Yahoo News

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In this July 22, 2010, file photo, Shigeru, left, and Sakie Yokota, parents of Megumi Yokota, a Japanese national …

Nearly 40 years ago, Megumi Yokota, then 13, was abducted by a North Korean agent. Her parents, Shigeru and Sakie Yokota of Japan, have not seen her since.

The couple recently met their 26-year-old granddaughter and 10-month-old great-granddaughter for the first time. The meeting was held in Mongolia and arranged by Foreign Ministry officials from Japan and North Korea, CNN reports. Megumi Yokota was not in attendance.

At a press conference, Shigeru Yokota, Megumi's father, expressed his joy at meeting his granddaughter and great-granddaughter.

From CNN:

"Our long-cherished dream had come true," Shigeru Yokota said at a press conference. "It was actually first time to meet her although I've been seeing her on TV (since she was) 14 or 15."

Megumi was abducted in 1977 while walking home from school. In 2002, North Korea admitted that it had kidnapped 13 Japanese citizens to train them as spies, Reuters reported.

North Korea claims Megumi died, but Japanese officials say North Korea has not provided "definitive proof,"  The Associated Press reports.

North Korea provided Japan with bones they said were Megumi's. However, DNA tests revealed they belonged to a male, according to Reuters.

The story of Megumi's abduction was adapted into a film for PBS several years ago.

Information from Reuters and AP contributed to this report.

Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter (@mikekrumboltz).

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