Evidence that North Korea systematically kidnapped foreign citizens has been uncovered, according to a Japanese media outlet.
Tokyo Shimbun reported Wednesday that Pyongyang trained operatives at a school called Kim Jong Il Politics and Military University and used a method of teaching the Kim Jong Il ideology of foreign informatics, or intelligence gathering, when instructing future spies of the regime.
The 356-page classified document had a section titled, ‘Collecting information through abduction,’ and described the important role kidnapping plays in intelligence gathering, as well as methods of capturing victims.
“[Abductions] can be used to break down the enemy and to collect information,” the document read, according to the Japanese newspaper. “The target of kidnapping must first be identified by finding out where the target frequently visits, which routes the target uses for daily commutes and the time when the target is in place.”
“An abductee, who resists kidnapping, can be severely punished, and, in that case, you must not leave a trace of evidence,” the instructions read.
The document began with a preface that explained the contents of the manual are “weapons of ideology” that have been prepared under Kim Jong Il, but based on the party’s foundational ideology, authored by his father Kim Il Sung.
According to the Tokyo Shimbun, the document appeared to have been written in the late 1990s, and that it is the first internal North Korea document on abduction operations to be made public.
In September 2002, Kim Jong Il told Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi that Pyongyang had abducted Japanese citizens, causing an outcry in Japan. Controversy continues on whether all the abductees have been repatriated to Japan.
North Korea has refused to budge on the issue, however, and negotiations with Tokyo broke down earlier this year as the two sides disagreed on the final status of past abductees.
North Korea also has not returned to dialogues on denuclearization, even as the United States, South Korea and China have urged Pyongyang to return to negotiations.
Yonhap reported Tuesday that Sung Kim, the US special representative for North Korea policy, said that the United States would be “happy to meet with [North Korea], any time, any where” if they are willing to engage on the nuclear issue.
North Korea has refused invitations to talks, and has defended its weapons as a deterrent against attacks.