The surviving bomber of Korean Air flight 858 in 1987 has described her feelings before meeting the family of Yaeko Taguchi, a Japanese abduction victim she claims was her teacher in North Korea. Kim Hyun-hee (47) sent a letter to Japan's Sankei Shimbun daily.
Kim, now rehabilitated and married in South Korea, claimed her life under the previous administration was that of a "refugee," but said she was now "full of happiness as the day is approaching" when she meets Taguchi's family. "I believe the upcoming meeting will not merely make me happy but providing an opportunity for South Korea and Japan to further understand and cooperate with each other," she said.
Kim pointed out that there has been no progress since former Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi visited North Korea in 2002 in the matter of Japanese citizens abducted during North Korea's bizarre campaign of the 1970s and 80s to acquire trainers for its spies.
But she added, "Sincerity moves heaven, as the old saying goes. Just as the day is approaching when I meet Taguchi's family, so I wish that the Japanese government will open the door to North Korea's heart to make it possible for the press to report, 'Finally, Taguchi meets her family.'"
Earlier, the Asahi Shimbun reported that Kim and Taguchi's family would likely meet in Busan on March 11. If they do, Kim is expected to show up at a press conference that would be her first public appearance since her arrest after the bombing of the KAL flight that killed all 115 people on board.
Kim has in recent months fired an emotional salvo of letters at the press insisting she really was the bomber and not part of a cover-up orchestrated by South Korean intelligence, as one conspiracy theory has it.