tv Hudson Institute Discussion on Abduction Issues in North Korea CSPAN May 7, 2019 1:31am-3:22am EDT
your skin color or religion those do not define you as an american with those core fundamental beliefs. >> what it means to be an american is the fact being at woman with the power that i have i am so blessed that i can drive that i can vote to live at this time in this country. >> to be able to enjoy the freedoms and the rights to celebrate our diversity and increase rights for all. amily oe abducted to north korea described efforts to be reunited. the mother of college student and person to north korea in 2016 and released back to the u.s. in a coma before dying
shortly after. from the hudson institute, this is just under two hours. rights for all. [inaudible conversations] ladies and gentlemen, from the american enterprise institute i am your moderator today it is an honor for me to be part of the hudson government of japan even event. for translation english is channel one. japanese is channel to. korea is channel three. i think we have compelling testimony and commentary for
you today. if i could leave you with two thoughts it would be these. number one, you will see that the abduction issue is not a small sectarian japan on the issue. north korea abductions of innocent civilians have victim populations the world over. this is an organized state run crime syndicate. point were to. in north korea the government does not object innocent victims from nations abroad as a random and unusual predilection of their state. the violation of human rights that you learn about is in the
dna of the north korean state and is the same contempt for innocent victims abroad that you see visited on the house subjects of northss korean states and also with the north korea belligerent behavior of nuclear prices internationally. at this point let me pass over the podium to the three cochairman. . >> thank you very much. you have what one - - written widely and has broken forcefully on this issue for some time. i am president and ceo of hudson institute. one bit of housekeeping we
want to welcome our viewers on c-span and in japan and the audience here. if you are using the headsets english is number one japanese is number two korean is channel three. as we get underway. we are deeply honored to cosponsor this timely conference on the issue of abductees in north korea with our friends from north korea and in japan it has been critical to hudson institute since its founding by the late geo strategy is the first to rise as an economic superpower and over the last few weeks we have inaugurated our japan chair and asia-pacific chair as well with the critical importance of the us-japan alliance. a long history of work with
north korea and this issue has profound residence for us here at hudson institute. senior vice president scooter libby will be moderating the second panel worked on this at the white house, the pentagon and since here at the institute and have wit written widely on this issue and since with hudson institute as well serving on the board of human rights putting together this conference to five members here with us this morning have kira, the chairman of the committee for the early release of japanese victims from north korea these five members t are the latest of a
long series of dignitaries to visit us including national security advisor and those who visited with us yesterday. we are most especially honored to have the families of the abductees with us here today. you have shown incredible grace and dignity through immense personal pain which we cannot fathom dedication to your loved ones, to see them again or to theiro memories to ensure that this remains on the agenda. for all you have done and cindy teeten who is a hero to all of us here in washington and beyond with the memory of your incredible sign auto the
secretary of the families of victim north korea and his brother david was kidnapped 16 years ago and also a two -year-old when his father was kidnapped. now this immense and profound unimaginable personal pain is something you live with every day v and it's on our minds when this critical period of negotiation between north korea and the west we have seen two summit said after they concluded without much progress it should be noted in the questions brought today is can weul seek concrete progress on the abduction issue and on thesee north korean relations
and beyond that our central to moving relations forward and progress with these negotiation negotiations. so now i am pleased to turn it over to discuss human rights in north korea. >> good morning. i am delighted to meet you today i'm director of the committee -based here out of washington d.c. and it is truly an honor and privilege toge cohost this landmark session we are also humbled to be in the presence of abductee family membersrs from japan and south korea as well as representatives of the teeten family.
may have been through hell and they have not wavered turning that into meaningful action to joining us at this type of event and then to establish 18 years ago by a group of scholars and former government officials and private sector representatives and visionaries to with them represent today the board members as an organization that has been designated exclusively to the researching investigation the monitor and report on the north korea human rights situation. since 2001 publishing 20 reports to resolve the conundrum to establish our reputation of growing the international network of human rights and policy
organizations committed to openingg up and revealing north korea to most of the worl world. we have been researching and investigating the abduction of japanese nationals of other countries for more than a decade after years of research and close collaboration with friends and c colleagues to publishh taken to this day the most comprehensive english-language report on the abduction of japanese nationals from other countries. we have provided complementary copies to all participants of the conference or it is available on our website. japanese citizens have been taken north korea missiles have pierced through the japanese airspace making japan in the world painfully aware of the danger posed by north
korea by the missiles and other tools just like families from other countries japanese families deserve to know the fate of their abducted relatives many of whom are still alive in north korea i today. our organization together with the networks are fully dedicated to finding out the truth of the fate we are dedicated to ensuring the swift return of those who are still alive in north korea. if it has the aim of addressing both serious security concerns in this critical rights of those nationals human rights organizations will slow the development human rights by
other issues of great concern political security issues we see this as an opportunity to continue to elevate the importance of the human rights issues and in particular the adoption of foreign nationals by north korea the ultimate goal this morning is to ensure the return of those to their loved ones and to bring closure to those whose relatives who will not be able to return. thank you very much we look forward to a great conference. [applause] . >> good morning.
>>translator: i am in charge of the abduction issue i would like to start thinking the hudson institute with mister weinstein and also from hr and k for cohosting today. and my gratitude to aei to serve as the moderator today as well as a senior vice president of the hudson institute and other speakers as well. thank you for joining us today. would like to express my sincere gratitude to you all today is the abduction issue and in japan as of the seventies through the eighties the japanese were abducted by north korea. in terms of the number of
people abducted the official count is 17 but there are 100 or more that we know that they were abducted but in favor but we haven't been able to bring a single person home so the victims themselves and their families desperately waiting for their return have been suffering for over 40 years and that's not something i can put into words. as a member of the caucus that is in this issue and we have been working through a variety
of opportunities to share the desperation of the families and the fact we have not succeeded at resolving the issue nothing could pain me more than that. we see the abduction issue it is a serious issue the sovereignty and the safety of our people so we want to take every opportunity that we can to bring up the abduction issue recently the summit between north korea was held president trump did bring up thee issue to bring that up with kim jung-un and thank you for doing that. last week we visited the us and the two leaders to reaffirm their commitment to
work closely to resolve the abduction issue president trump offered his full cooperation. the japanese government policy to resolvet comprehensively and then those issues of the past and only into a normalized relation. i would like to discuss our agenda today. first of all, we want you to hear direct testimony from the families of the victims so you may understand their anguish. as a representative we have families from japan here today. one is the brother who was
subducted on her way home from school 13 years old, 42 years ago. next we have the sun of one who was subducted at 22 years old he was only one -year-old neither of them have come home as of yet. from the us we have the mother of otto teeten after h being held for 17 months then released in a coma. we also have michael who is the older brother of david who is suspected of having been abducted by north korea in chin china. also the sun of one who was
subducted during a hijacking 50 years ago. not only do we have direct testimony from these people but today through parliamentary representative from japan involved in the abduction issue are known as experts on the issue. government officials and lawmakers are not the only ones working on this issue. we work with members and we hope today's seminar is an opportunity to deepens the cooperation. thank you very much. [applause] . >> let's begin with the first panel please.
completely innocent civilian girl. when i think of the suffering she must have experienced breaks my heart. according to a former agent she is left in the hall went screaming for her mother said the dell and scratched so much her finger no nails were tornds off as her hands were covered with blood. if she had not been abducted then she would have lived the life she had dreamed of so she had many dreams for her future and she would have gone through high school and university to find work , contributing to the worldib that the would have thought of
the world and north korea lives a hard life held by them. it goes without saying the egregious human rights abuse it is a crime that of the - - of the sovereignty of any individual or message and it should be condemned. many countries now know they are the victims of north korea. so first of all, to violate the sovereignty waters of japan to abduct a 13 -year-old girl and also have manipulated death certificates to cover up what happened to her and then
to provide another person's remains claiming they were hers. only exacerbating the grief her family felt. third the they try to use her as a negotiation card. and as a result, my sister and many other victims are living in conditions that defy imagination.n. this serious human rights abuses not something that only affects japanese victims we have michael and cindy here with us today and other countries such as south korea and lebanon and those that also fallen victim we must rememberer that. cindy lost her beloved son auto because of the violence of north o korea. and it is clear the violencee
that north korea engages in and we must not permit these human rights abuses. when i first met cindy she said we must not state - - stay quiet and fight this. she gave us a great deal of courage to do so. we share the sadness of the families. i received a badge from the teeten family that says teethree and i hang onto that. the voices of my sister and also the voice of teethree. and then to suffer from something that could be happening far away but it affects us directly and we need to think about what it is we need to do ass a result the
us has had two summits and in singapore kim jung-un what did he think? i don't think he thought his lovely he thought why my country? there are 25 million people in north korea whose freedom and human rights have i been quashed by violence. and the people there have to think how to make it through each and every day. we must remember that. the government of north korea has promised to denuclearize. they need to bring back together. if they would do that we could ensure the continuation of the
kim regime and it would be able to keep its promise to its people that north korea will be completely unwilling to denuclearize. at the moment north korea is preparing economically. even if there was some flexibility involved a less northmi korea does agreed to denuclearize people have no right future. that with those concessions to the us, that i believe japan will be providing much of the economic aid to north korea. we need to see all of the
returnsil together. up until now and to be a part of the investigation and we know that under 24 hour watch and then what happened to them? we will no longer be fooled by these methods. the victims family continue to be derided and mocked. i personally could never forget them for having taken my sister but that doesn't mean i am engaged in political activities so all i am doing is they my uncle is now 86
and she has never come home to japan tempts. as a result of that, i have no memory of my mother i don't remember having spoken with her for having touch my mother. when she was 22 years old, she was raising me and my sister who is three years old at the time she was suddenly abducted by north korean agent and she remains held by them. in september 2002, there was a summit between japan and north korea, and north korea acknowledged for the first time that they had objected my mother and said she had died in a car accident, when i heard that, i thought that i would never be able to meet my mother and got very depressed. i cannot put how i felt at that moment into words but i do
remember that i could not stop crying. however, that was not true, the information that she was deceived was spaces. at the time north korea shared a death certificate that was clearly fabricated and even in the report of the traffic, her name did not appear anywhere. there are many contradictions and errors in north korea's description of the victim, that is become apparent to the investigations of the japanese government. they have made up a fictional story to try to cover up the existence of my mother. she is still alive in north korea, and she is still waiting for us to rescue her. instances of adoption of japanese people, have occurred other than that the my mother. the japanese government
recognizes 17 cases, five have come home and the remaining 12 have not. and there are many hundreds of japanese who may have possibly, additionally been affected by north korea. north korea has had that eight of the remaining 12 have not come home have died in that for never came to north korea to begin with. but there are many contradictions in their stories and there's been nothing to back the stories of the deaths of some of them. there was dna testing performed what was said to be the remains. it was found not to be her remains in addition, the objections have not only affected japan from the testimonies of the japanese victims that to come home, we know there's a possibility that there is also victims from south korea, thailand and romania. in reports, there are also
allegations that there abductees from singapore, france, italy, netherlands and china. so this is a human rights issue for all of the international community was. in june, 2018, and every 2019 between the u.s. in north korea. at the summit, president trump directly urged kim jong-un to resolve the objection issue. in september 2002 there was a summit between japan and north korea. we think that this has provided the greatest opportunity for the head of north korea to rethink the objection issue. we believe that kim jong-un in north korea should make the decision to release all of the
abductees together. so that we can break free of the past and move to a brighter future. we have no intention of imposing the normalization of relations with north korea if all of the objective can come home together. it is for our families to come home so they can live normal lives. north korea has threatened peace of the world with its nuclear weapons and missiles. in the u.s. has held a summit to combat this threat and as was seen in the summit in february in hanoi that the u.s. remains wholeheartedly dedicated to those metrics. north korea continues to only deliver reports that suits it
story. and however, japan has a notion of falling for such deploys. it has been 30 or 40 years since north korea began abducting deputies. nothing to be more tragic, we cannot make up for lost time. and their families are getting older, we cannot suspend any more time on this. lastly, i would like to express my gratitude to president trump and to the american averment for bringing up the issue of the objection of the two summits. i would like to ask you all for your continued help as we wait to be re- noted with their families. thank you very much. [applause]
>> good morning. >> good morning. [speaking in foreign language] thank you to the japanese government for inviting me in the institute for the hp nrk for cohosting the seminar on this issue. it breaks my heart for cindy who lost her son. [inaudible] my sympathy goes to the other family members of the american and japanese abductees.
forever separated from their loved ones due to the very ready and north korea. the pain is truly unbearable. these photographs, my father love me. very, very much. in the winter of 1969, i was just two years old. my father met a friend and the friend was hijacked and was from north korea. in captivity, this is way my father cried all. some even come, under international law, international law, humanitarian principles.
send me back on. semi back home to my loving family. despite his own crime, my father was taken away beaten and tortured for two years. my father's was 32 years old and south korea. on december 11, 1969 the plane was hijacked just after takeoff by north korean agent. due to pressure from the international community, the north korea would repatriate all 53 people from the plane. it was february 4, but then on the 14th, they returned only 39 passengers.
testimony of those who return, my father was being detained against their will by the regime. on february 6, 1970, my father strongly argued that he should be sent back home, he says i want to go back to nort korea. ladies and gentlemen, there was 50 years ago. since that day, my mother, sister my grandmother passed her life in agony. before 50 years north korea refuses to sending information. but my father is on fruit will try to escape from north korea. but his attempt failed.
i felt him i cannot help it. help of my father, the rest he was living in the city and north korea, at the time my father was taken away for criminal behavior but now he cannot go home even though he wants to. for the past 18 years i have campaigned for my father's repatriation, truly it is so hard and difficult. the organization's teaching and soul as it helped me consistently since 2016. it is a compost of 40 volunteers and thanks to their staff and justice i can bring attention to my father's situation in the
dream of his repatriation. there is not a single reason why my father should remain forcibly detained in north korea. not just my father, ladies and gentlemen, where are you going to simply watch the barbarian behavior of the north korean government. please take actions. the north korean government hijacked aircraft and refused to abide by the condition of the separation. i already knew the international community did too. community to demand my father's repatriation, the same goes for all of america who are abductees of north korea.
under the rule of international law and the management principles, please demand the reputation so that we can all reunite with their families. ladies and gentlemen, i want to meet my father before he dies. all the kids should be allowed to meet the families before they die. please help us. please help us bring our families home while they are still life. thank you very much. [applause] michael stefan please. >> represent the letter on behalf of of my parents. >> difference, distinguish government officials and honored guests, it is now 15 years since her brother and son david lewis spotted this appeared in augus
august 2004 while hiking to the nonprofits. on that fateful summer day which so much change, david was just 24 years old. little by little, bit by bit, more about david and his situation based upon the information first from the committee for human rights and north korea, located here in washington, created, the national association for the japanese did kidnap it and north korea, and mr. sean young troy located in soul as well as listening to hearts, we are now sure that david is being held by the democratic people's republic of korea. the dprk. over the years our family has shared our frustrations and hopes with you at similar meetings.
is dark now where david is sleeping, my prayer is just as the sun rises each 20 david will soon experience the dawning of his brighter day. a request for david's return faithfully, we saw many organizations who seem to make a difference and most important, we found many wonderful families and the north korean who also suffer from similar feelings. particularly the dakota family. if you are to see my mother and mrs. dakota side-by-side they look so similar, we knew that we talked, the same age, and when they meant for the first time several years ago my mother knew they shared a similar experience that was a turning point for our family. our hope, daily prayers for all those who have been adductors
that they may also soon returned. with this thought, to help bring david home. we also pray, further we think all families affected by those objections for the continued courage and site for the recognition by their government leaders, to call upon responsible government leaders everywhere in the best friends of the korean people, the united states, japan and the people's republic of china to affect change. this is the time in the course of human events when it was morally right. yet in this quest we would be selfish from most selfish, and, should return of our loved ones be the sole focus of our efforts, the we and the abductees suffer personal --
presently in many years, millions of innocent citizens of the country of north korea continue to suffer under oppression, punishment, abuses, malnutrition, fear and other unspeakable tortures. brought upon them by their government. they've endured this long dark night of pain. even horror for the entire duration of the device. yes, for generations if suffer. should we forget their sufferings, and for the dawning of their break today, therefore for the heartfelt desire of our loved ones but let's not forget the forsaken people of going to korea to help them find a warm spring morning, filled with hope, opportunity and freedom as our hearts reached out to abductees and the families, we pray for the people of the tpr
k. they like us shall one day be free from pain, this is the hope that all will soon be free. we desire all within the sound of her voice to pick up the torch of hope but working relentlessly for brighter day on the korean. respectfully yours, the roy and kathleen sneddon family. [applause] >> cindy. >> i'm going to wait for auto, i do this for auto. and some of you don't care was going on, and your support keeps refining, by the way where is he. i will tell you a little bit about otto.
autumn was in his third year at the university of virginia. he was a great student, a fabulous son, great brother, lots of friends, i raised otto different than i was raised. i had a lot of fear and tentativeness about what i should do, and i wanted otto to be empowered to not be afraid to grab onto everything that he could in the world with live a really full life. and unfortunately i had no idea,
when he took the tour to north korea what he was walking into. north korea to me the cancer on the earth. and if we ignore this cancer, it is not going to go away. it is going to kill all of us. we didn't even know we had this cancer, so that's what i talk. there is a cancer, otto was all about love and goodness. he never got in a fight with anyone in his whole life and he never got in trouble. he had a job, his dream job on wall street as soon as he
graduated, he got that his junior year. he always thought the best in people. if i was ever critical, he will call me on it. he always all the best in people. i know when they took otto, that he thought he'd be released, he thought if i play by the rules, they are going to let me go. i know he was sorry that he ever went into that godforsaken place. had i known north korea wanted money for otto, i would've gladly given them money from day one, that isn't what they wanted from otto in the beginning, they want everything that they can get from anyone they take.
they want everything that they can get from them. they have no respect for human beings he is not making the right decisions, and it's obvious the world that we are on ten. but unless we keep the pressure on north korea, they are not going to change, and i'm very afraid that we're going to let up on the pressure. so i need everyone here to keep the pressure on. on everybody you can. there are still a lot of families here that deserve to see the family members. i'm going to tell you what it was like when i saw when he got off the plane. i'm sorry, i went on the pain. my gorgeous boy, who every girl had an immediate crush on.
looked like a monster. the look in his eyes which i did not know he was blind at the time, was absolute horror. horror like he had seen the devil, and he had. he was with the devil. okay, enough negativity, i had to write down positive things so stay positive. first of all i have so much gratitude to meet all the japanese, family members, who have so much strength and honor. i am sorry i cannot exhibit the same restraint but another
forgive me. then i want to thank the american government. it brought otto home. you can see the japanese were desperately trying to do the same. we have to bring our family members home. we have to come together on this issue. this should not be a partisan issue. this is a problem. this is not only a nuclear problem this is a problem that we are dealing with absolute evil. we can ignore like i would've had this not happened to me. but i cannot guarantee that something bad is not going to happen if we leave things alone. there is a charade going on right now.
it is called diplomacy. how can you have diplomacy with someone who never told the truth. that is what i want to know. i am all for it, but i am very skeptical. he lies, he lies, he lies, offer himself and his regime, all my gosh. if you could call it a regime. they only care about themselves, the only care about themselves, nobody in the concentration camp. the only difference between hitler and him, but he is doing it to all of his people. into other people too. i will be strong because otto
was always proud of me for being strong. he was the strongest kid i know. thank you. [applause] >> before we conclude i should mention my way of housekeeping, there are reverse in the green room want to be interviewing our panelists so may i ask her panelists when they leave to go to the greener for the interviews, ladies and gentlemen, i hope all express our sympathy for the suffering of these families in our solidarity with their cause. we should also never forget it's
are with us in the audience which bears witness to all that we've heard, the second panel will take a look some of the issues in depth with regard to the international community. we meet as we start as a new era in japan, the official translation is beautiful harmony. unofficially, it might be rendered as rule-based order or peace. it struck a note with me because 35 years ago this week, i was part of president reagan's trip to china. while at hunan university, less than a year after one of these abductions. in his famous speech he spoke of living in harmony with friends.
there was no harmony, there is no rule-based order that accepts kidnapping in the continued holding of other countries in i mention it because japan and south korea in america together hope to bring about a prompt resolution to this problem. but others notably china have a role to play in this too. when reagan went to who don't he had a second message for the students in all of asia. he said americans believe and not taking what belongs to others. we believe in the dignity of each man, woman and child and if each individual special rights to make his own decisions and lead his own life, that is one of democracies greatest strengths in my view that we care about each individual life,
it's a strength that we share with japan and north korea, and brings us here today. we must recognize there are other countries that don't share this dedication but the chinese and other states have often spoken of noninterference in their sovereignty. nothing could be more abundant terseness of harmony and fairness in individual dignity or to a and what we are in today. and a instruction at the hands promptly. the first speaker on the panel,
will be the representative, he is focused on the abduction issues, and currently the chairperson of the diet committee for the early rescue of the north korean abductees. translator: good morning. i am from the japanese diet, i am a member of the carcass and i am the head of the caucus for the rescue. of the abductees, our caucus has over 300 members and is nonpartisan, we collaborate together and every active. in a result of our activities we
believe they are aware of the abduction issue. today other than myself who is the chair of the caucus i have with us from the diet who is the deputy chair, and also a member who is a deputy chair. and also the vice chair. and then jean who is a secretary general. first, i would like to say, that these objections represent the ultimate in the human rights abuse in our complaint to terrorists,, the objective of the seminar today is to make as many americans as possible aware of the abduction issue.
and also to resolve the duction issue which means to secure the immediate return of all of these abductees. that will result in north korea regaining its dignity and once again become a member of the international communities, we want to defend the strong message to kim jong-un, i want to stress that it is kim jong-un who is a director of the objections and kim jong-un and was not involved, our prime minister at the time meant with kim jong-un and they signed the declaration in february, 2000 and according to that, japan and north korea, if we were to normalize relations, then in
north korea, it would be a very attractive for economic development in north korea, internment camp should be aware that, the u.s. and japan must cooperate on this issue, currently there is a very strong relationship of trust between president trump and aubrey. we see this is an excellent opportunity for some president trump brought up the abduction issue and we have now moved as of this month into the air and japan. between the u.s. and japan in april trump and aubrey talked in depth about the abductions and president trump this month will
be the first to japan in the era. in the two leaders will be meeting in june at the g i believe that will curve as a based on the report, what that means, is that the domestic environment and north korea must be severe at the moment. i heard this from someone who visited in north korea recently but apparently, there is not even enough bread app on young's hud luxury hotel for foreigners. what it means and north korea, is being so critical at the
moment is that i want to aid from japan. meaning he plans on making small concession in order to get as much as they can. that is a methodology is clear both in the context of the nuclear in the missile issues. and the discussions at the u.s., as well. there is already been resolution of the past in both the u.s. and house and senate regarding the potential objection of david which you heard about from his brother michael earlier. our caucus in japan also proactively worked for the passage of those resolutions. we believe that justice with the nuclear missile issues that
japan and the u.s. can also collaborate on the abduction issue. because that will serve as a major pressure on kim jong-un. we must leave no stone unturned and trying to resolve the issue of the abduction of the japanese people. however, we must as a primer minister has said, we deal directly with the leader of north korea and we hope to cooperate with the u.s. so that we can have a summit between japan and north korea so we can resolve the abduction issue and our caucus plans on using the disposal to make that happen. with that i would like to conclude my comments. thank you very much. >> thank you all.
senior democratic stoffer at the foreign relations committee, of defense precision, a position close to my heart. >> thank you very much. it is nice to hear the committee referred to as procedures delete these. if i asked, from my friends in the press as a staff member if you can share my remarks on background as i would like to continue to be a staff member. and i also want to pass on regards from senator menendez from new jersey who is a ranking member on the committee, he wishes he could been here this morning but no he is certainly thinking about all of your families and about the fate of the objectives in north korea.
briefly, i don't think this is a not just for the suffering of the people and north korea but also for the fate of the japanese abductees, and americans who have been unjustly imprisoned and worse by the regime of kim jong-un, it's fair to say that members of congress if we cannot characterize that as evil, and the word evil has no meaning anymore. so that is a commitment that you can expect to see continue it is been one that we have demonstrated and exhibited across congress is controlled by democrats and republicans and with ministration, with democrats and republicans for the white house.
we view as our will to keep the ministration, to make sure these issues are receiving the attention that they deserve. as mentioned, we passed resolutions for david, repressed revolutionresolutions for otto,y hard-working situations. and i have nothing but admiration for you and your family. words fail me. we have made increasingly so in the past several years to include human rights issues and the sanctions legislation that congress has passed. and to include statutory requirements starting with the north korean sanctions, enhancement act in 2016, that will not allow the u.s. or international sanctions to be rolled back completely unless
there is concrete action by north korea. to address human rights issues including the fate of abductees. i think that is a commitment that you can expect to see congress continue to hold to. one can imagine, any number of past for diplomacy with north korea, but for me, and for my boss and i dare say, on this issue i feel safe in speaking for members on both sides of my committee. it is impossible to imagine a solution for the north korea challenge that does not include resolution of human rights, justice for americans who have been victims of this regime. my japanese friends, let me finish it by noting we take our
alliance and partnership with japan with the utmost seriousness. in every discussion that we have with the ministration, members, both sides of the aisle, house and senate, make sure to emphasize how important it is that in any engagement with north korea the japanese equities including the state of the abductees, are taken into account. that is something we will continue to keep where i am. and something we will continue to pay attention to. thank you. [applause] >> our next speaker, senior legislative assistant for christer, who is a member of the permanent committee on intelligence in the house, and a specialist on foreign affairs. >> i feel like -- thank you for
those comments and also thank you for your bravery. as we hear family members to be here and share stories, we greatly appreciate that. as my remarks will predominantly focus on david, what an interesting way to celebrate a birthday, but grateful to be here to not forget him and not forget his memory that exist here today and not just for him but all of those who have been affected by this regime. thank you. and happy birthday david. i want to give a little background he wishes he could be here but it did not work with the schedule. he first became very familiar with david's case when he entered office due to personal connection through his own son. the congressman son was a friend of david and they interacted due
to missionary service, so david had served in south korea and then was in the capacity of teaching language skills to those that would continue with missionary service in south korea and it happened that the congressman son was one who is going to be serving in south korea and interacted with david in the missionary training center where he was learning language and skills to be able to interact with the culture and survive an international experience for someone who has never had that expense. and adept at cultures. so that is the first connection with the congressman and when he became engaged aside from his responsibility of the members of congress to be engaged in the issues and then the foreign invaders, which led to the passage of a that was age rest 891 of david's kne.
this is when noted, it's affecting many countries, many, many countries have been affected in these situations. so the main three pillars the lack was a state department needs to investigate and consider all possibilities of explanation for david's disappearance, second would be that they coordinate their efforts to the government of japan, south korea, and china. and lastly, they keep congress in the family and those efforts. through this experience with this resolution congressman was able to interact with various individuals at the state department, he will tell you his impressed and grateful for the work in which they did especially in the beginning phases of david's disappearance. the efforts in the pressure that
was put on the chinese government to investigate but unfortunately due to turnover of staff and the reality of time, the congressman felt it had definitely felt the reader in terms of looking into other options and not just accepting the status quo. to fruition. he considers to share this concern along with all the other abductees and puts pressure with possible. . . . hopeful that this is an issue that is brought up. president trump has brought it up and we continue to press
others. he happens to be a good friend of secretary pompeo and we continue to bring up the importance of this. i think it's important that it's not forgotten and that's why we are here today to commemorate that. i can continue on some of the perspectives congressman stewart is engaged on. no need to continue and repeat but know that again we appreciate the collaboration with the japanese government. we appreciate the collaboration with all of those that have been affected by the situation and the importance of continuing the collaboration as we move forwa forward. [applause] the next speaker is tom rose, a friend and a man that i admire greatly. he's a top adviser to vice president mike pence who has been a leading voice on the policies for this
administration. in the two years of the administration i've been present when he's given stunning remarks in tokyo about american foreign policy. he's also a hero to many over the course of his career on human rights issues. let me turn on the clock so i don't get to six minutes. thank you very much everyone here. listening to the stories of the abductees and of course in the end thread, one can't help but think that this world can be a rotten place with rotten people and rotten regime's, but in listening to the passion and commitment and the continued
resolve of those citizens whose abductees have been gone, whose loved ones have been murdered is a reminder, a powerful one of the beauty in this world, the power of freedom, and the sanctity and in viability of every single human life. nothing about north korea should be forgotten especially in light of the negotiations and diplomacy this administration is attempting to conduct a. since its founding the totalitarian leadership of the dpr k. has exacted unparalleled privatization, torture, forced mass starvation, execution, murder, forced abortion and a
systemic system of slave labor and innovative productions of totalitarian control that have been best highlighted have been the means by which this regime has maintained and consolidated its hold on power. cindy said diplomacy is a charade. if human rights and part of thet diplomacy, cindy is absolutely right because no peace can never come with the regime who treats its citizens in a manner that is simply beyond comprehension of anyone living in the west. public executions, massive forced starvation the president
has been emphatic and direct on the two occasions when they met. i would simply ask of the abductees and cindy and fred something very direct and that is to never, ever let us forget your stories, to always stay in the spotlight, never refrained from going on television or addressing conferences like this, to never refrained from voicing criticisms or objections when they feel merited. listening to these stories today, the japanese abductees
and of course fred and cindy i was reminded of something that i heard a while ago about the difference between the words history and memory, history and english into words, his story. memory begins with two letters, me, myself. i would simply ask of all of the abductees families and all those who suffered at the hands of this brutal regime better to let your stories become history to but always insist that they remain our memory imprinted on our hearts and in our minds so that their story can become and remain our own. there will never be peace until these issues are resolved. president trump is committed to that, vice president mike pence is committed to that and i know all of you are. second, never let us off the hook.
keep the pressure on them and not jus, not justthe north korep the pressure on the congress, on the administration, and all of us to ensure we stay on the right path. thank you very much. [applause] our final speaker for questions is melanie kirkpatrick a colleague and friend, longtime observer of the situation in north korea, author of in outstanding both related to the subject, and author of many columns in "the wall street journal." >> thank you, scooter and good morning to all of you ladies and gentlemen. i would like to talk a little bit about the citizens of countries, all countries have been kidnapped by north korea. let me give you a list of the names of the countries. they are south korea, china,
france, guinea, italy, japan, jordan, lebanon, the netherlands, asia, singapore and thailand. to that list i would add that the united states because i believe david was probably kidnapped by north korean agents in 2004. the tragic stories we heard earlier today represent only a few of the victims. there are many more, several hundred japanese were probably abducted. the number of south koreans who were taken, fishermen, soldiers, students, ordinary people runs into the thousands. lebanese victims who managed to go home reported seeing french, dutch and italian women at a north korean spy institute.
who are they? no one knows. are they still in north korea? north korea won't say. most of the kidnappings that have been documented to place during the 70s and 80s. do not however make the mistake of thinking that north korea's history of kidnapping people in foreign countries is a relic of the past. now as then, north korea has no respect for the sovereignty of other countries read the rule of law or for the sanctity of human life. in recent years the kidnappers turned their attention to china where they've kidnapped chinese and south korean citizens and have taken them to north korea. these people were targeted because of their work helping the north korean escapees who were hiding in china. a chicago area pastor was kidnapped and taken to north korea where he died.
this pastor. south korean citizenship but with a green card holder in the united states. since taking power at the end of 2011, the focus of north korea's kidnapping operations has been on its own citizens who are living abroad. in 2014, north korean agents abducted a student from a university he was attending in paris. the young man was the son of a north korean official who had just been purged and executed. the student escaped as he fled from his captors and at the charles de gaulle airport and he remains in hiding. a similar episode took place in france in 2013 when a student banished from another university. a week later he reappeared on campus guarded by police. the full story hasn't come out, but we know french authorities made the decision to protect the
students because they believe hd he was in danger of being kidnapped by north korea. who was he? this is where the story gets really interesting. he is the son of kim jong's half-brother. the man whose murder order dot the airport in 2017. after his father's death, he disappeared again and reportedly is hiding in a western country. kim jong moon, who has no son may consider the young man a threat to his continued rule. he ihe's western educated and ss fluent english. he's called his uncle a dictator and expressed sympathy for the plight of the people of north korea, a threat indeed. one final example of recent kidnappings last fall for korea's ambassador to italy they
left behind in a row and their r teenage daughter who reportedly is disabled. four days later, the daughter disappeared. she eventually turned up in pyongyang and is believed to have been kidnapped from italy by north korean agents whose seizure has been interpreted as a warning to her parents not to go public with the story. early in his presidency, president trump spoke about north korea's record on human rights and he invited the escapees to the state of the union address. he and mrs. trump met in tokyo with the 13-year-old whose tragic story we heard this morning from her brother. recently however, president trump has been quiet on the subject of human rights.
in my view, human rights, including the abduction issue deserve a place on the agenda during the negotiations. i hope the moment will come soon that the united states thinks the time is right to discuss this issue fully and try to make progress on this issue. as for north korea, they've given no indication that he's interested in considering a proposal to help develop its economy and return for denuclearization. perhaps he understands that developing north korea's economy would create a far more open society than exists today. the development that could threaten his continued rule. if, however, he reaches the point where solutions to signal the world that he is willing to change and is serious about it,
there is a way to get our attention, identify and free every one of these abductees. thank you. [applause] thank you all. i want to first thank the panel, but the minister and president trump for their leadership on these issues and welcome back to help on the q-and-a period that follows. thank you to the panel very much. [applause] ladies and gentlemen, we appreciate the panel and with the speakers had to say.
we are running towards the end of our time, and this is the place where we can have some questions and interventions from the floor. i'd like to join the association for the rescue of japanese kidnapped by north korea to offer our group a few words. nice to see you again. >> thank you. listening to today's discussion, i thought back to the issue dealing with the kidnapping as an issue that requires us to fight against lies and the fact
that there've been kidnappings around the world were discussed today. the lies told ther lie is told o different stages. first is they say they don't kidnap anyone even though they are they lie and say they aren't. in japan we have one in the battle against their lives. they said they never kidnapped japanese people but we forced them to admit that they did. it hasn't been shown to be lies. we were able to force them to admit that they had kidnapped japanese people but after that they said that they wanted and with a template together to show that the japanese people have died. there is no evidence that that is the case in other words they are lying saying that they are still in north korea have died
so my question is i would like to ask the panel i understand that they will be meeting soon with the north korean leader and we hope that he will be able to get them to admit that the eight people in north korea are still alive in other words they've been lying saying that they died. i want him to say that. what should he say in response i would like to ask any kind of advice you might have for a prime minister should save that discussion occurs.
>> are there questions or comments from others on the floor? yes please come in the back. >> i spent a bit of time in south korea and i'm kind of amazed what they've done up the human rights. as we know he hasn't mentioned it as far as i know to ask about the case in the summit in hanoi. what can be done to get the president trump to move on this issue. is it worth disrupting the whole process in the attempted reconciliation as i say i'm stunned by some of the comments i've heard my impression is he's
>> i am quite aware of the prime minister's skills on how to respond to this tricky situation in the regime in the history of the regime. each will know what the truth is. i would respond to the suggestions that this administration has done nothing, doesn't care about human rights the vice president met with
north korean defectors on mond monday. i think it is inaccurate and unfair but as i said in my remarks i was very earnestly to never stop commenting and criticizing when they believe it is necessary to never hold back their voices. the pressure needs to stay on us and our administration to ensure that we can proceed with negotiations on a critical national security issue. it's not an aesthetic exercises is quite real and existential to
us and it does require some delicacy. they have the right and the duty to insist it be heard at all times when they want them to be heard. it is a separate and coequal the congressional voices or the importance of human rights and the importance of achieving justice for american citizens and others who have been unfairly held by north korea, but that counts for something.
the question of north korea take in immensely complicated matters and it's more than one or two or three countries when we look at who would be ultimately affected by some of these discussions, so it is a very delicate matter. that's stated of course you human rights must be a large portion of that i will refrain from commenting considering that i work for a congressman and i shouldn't speak on behalf of him as much as to share that they've put their foot down as far as the human rights is concerned, i
feel the united states and japan are important and that relation is important as far as human rights is concerned. they have a very deep relationship based on trust and a very good relationship i thi think. the abduction issue is the ultimate in t and the president himself has brought up the issue very clearly with chairman kim and this is a wonderful thing i think, so i would like to repeat that as far as the domestic issue is concerned the prime
minister has quite a lot of experience and has been put over a hundred and had a good experience and good knowledge of how to deal with the foreign affairs area. to overcome the issues of mistrust i think this is something that is very important and wonderful and the minister was used to test experience to bring about a good result for what happened.
i wouldn't dare to offer advice to the prime minister but i would make a couple of points i could. he's passionate about this issue you will notice a little blue pin on his lapel is never without this and wears it every day to remind him that he must identify and bring home the japanese abductees. i admire that passion and conviction but i would say i'm skeptical that it would be successful. in the past we know that north korea has lied and sent it back
that use of the mechanism of depression take a look at the report and read the chapters on the use of these in the north korean system. third, it is heartening to have our japanese friend here and our american friends but as we know many of the victims were south korean victims and possibly most of the victims or south korean victims. we await the voice on this issue. since the current administration in south korea has self-described human activists we hope that this would find a
to the recently heard oral arguments on whether or not citizens can be prosecuted for federal gun possession if they are unaware of their legal status at the center of the case is a student at a u.s. college whose visa expired after he was dismissed for academic reasons. later he was charged and convicted of firearms possessi possession. on appeals the legal team argued