The daughter of Megumi Yokota, a Niigata Prefecture resident who was abducted by North Korean agents in 1977, is married to a North Korean man whose father was born in Japan, the Mainichi Shimbun has learned.
The existence of Megumi's daughter, Kim Eun Gyong, 30, also known as Kim Hye Gyong, was revealed in 2002 when Pyongyang admitted to abducting Japanese citizens. Megumi's parents, Shigeru and Sakie Yokota, now 85 and 81, respectively, met with their granddaughter for the first time in March 2014 in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar. Kim's husband and their daughter also attended the meeting, but the personal history of her husband was not released at the time.
According to an acquaintance of Kim's family, her father-in-law was a second-generation Korean resident of Japan born in the Chubu region. He died in 2016 at age 60. After graduating from a public high school in Japan, he entered Korea University in the Tokyo suburban city of Kodaira. He then applied to a repatriation program backed jointly by the Japanese and North Korean governments while still in school and traveled to the North in 1976 by himself. He later married a woman who was also in the repatriation program and lived in Pyongyang, working in a tech-related industry. Around 1985, a boy who was later to become Kim's husband was born.
Kim and her husband met at Kim Il Sung University located in Pyongyang. They started dating after the husband, who was an upperclassman, taught her computer skills. The couple married in 2011 and had a daughter two years later.
The acquaintance told the Mainichi Shimbun, "Eun Gyong looks like both Megumi and Sakie. Her husband, a slim and gentle man, speaks Japanese." They remembered that the two made a cute couple, saying, "The way they loved their daughter was the same as young Japanese couples you would find anywhere." When asked about Megumi's whereabouts, however, the acquaintance said they did not know anything more than what has been reported in Japan.
The Mainichi Shimbun also obtained a recent photo of Kim and her daughter, which was taken around May 2015 in North Korea. Kim's husband was reportedly with them at the time the photo was taken.
Megumi's mother Sakie told the Mainichi that she could not talk about Kim, but said, "We promised (Kim) when we met in Ulaanbaatar that when Megumi and the other abductees return to Japan, we should see each other again. My feeling at the time has not changed."