The Korea Herald

피터빈트

Family of man slain by North Korea, Japanese support group official meet in Seoul

By Kim Arin

Published : April 13, 2023 - 20:07

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The older brother of a South Korean official killed by North Korean troops and the leader of a support group of missing Japanese people meet at the National Assembly in Seoul on Thursday. From left: Lawyer Kim Ki-yun; Kazuhiro Araki, the leader of the support group for Japanese victims of abduction by North Korea; and Lee Rae-jin, the late official’s older brother. (Kim Arin/The Korea Herald) The older brother of a South Korean official killed by North Korean troops and the leader of a support group of missing Japanese people meet at the National Assembly in Seoul on Thursday. From left: Lawyer Kim Ki-yun; Kazuhiro Araki, the leader of the support group for Japanese victims of abduction by North Korea; and Lee Rae-jin, the late official’s older brother. (Kim Arin/The Korea Herald)

Kazuhiro Araki, the head of a support group for families of Japanese abducted by North Korea, on Thursday met with Lee Rae-jin, the older brother of the South Korean official who was slain near the inter-Korean sea border in September 2020.

Araki, who is visiting Seoul, spoke with Lee and his lawyer Kim Ki-yun for about two hours at People Power Party Rep. Ha Tae-keung’s office to discuss plans for a meeting with Japanese families of the missing.

Rep. Ha Tae-keung (center) speaks with Lee, his lawyer and Araki. (Courtesy of Kim Ki-yun) Rep. Ha Tae-keung (center) speaks with Lee, his lawyer and Araki. (Courtesy of Kim Ki-yun)

“I think it will be empowering for victims of different kinds of abuses by North Korea to gather, and speak with one another. The gathering will allow us to join voices and ideas on how to respond and cope,” Lee told The Korea Herald.

“The victims of North Korean atrocities are of different nationalities, and there must be ways for us to work together.”

Lee is in the midst of a court battle against former top officials from the Moon Jae-in administration for their suspected role in the cover-up and mishandling of his brother’s death.

Lee’s lawyer Kim said he has offered legal help to Aiko Kawasaki, a Korean Japanese and North Korea escapee who is seeking an information disclosure suit.

Lee added that he was invited to speak virtually at Japan’s House of Representatives conference on the accountability, preservation and documentation of human rights violations in North Korea slated for April 28.