Japanese mother tells of heartbreak years after North Korea abducted 13-year-old daughter
TOKYO (REUTERS) - For two decades after 13-year-old Megumi Yokota vanished on her way home from school one November evening, Japanese police called her parents whenever they found an unidentified body.
Unimaginably, the teenager had been abducted and taken to North Korea, her mother told a UN Commission of Inquiry panel in Tokyo on Thursday - but there was no clue what had happened to the cheerful girl who liked to sing until reports began to emerge in 1997 of the presence of Japanese in North Korea.
"Up until then, whenever they found a body, or there was a murder, or a skeleton got snagged in the fishing net of a boat, anywhere in Japan, the police would get in touch with us," Mrs Sakie Yokota told the commission, the first time Pyongyang's human rights record has been looked at by an expert panel.
"We lived in a sadness that I thought would drive us mad."