Alleged U.S. Deserter Won't Leave N. Korea

Discussion in 'Asia' started by Lefty Wilbury, May 22, 2004.

  1. Lefty Wilbury
    Offline

    Lefty Wilbury Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Messages:
    1,109
    Thanks Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Ratings:
    +36
    http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-asia/2004/may/22/052209691.html


    Alleged U.S. Deserter Won't Leave N. Korea
    By ERIC TALMADGE
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) -

    Nearly 40 years ago, Charles Robert Jenkins allegedly deserted his U.S. Army unit to start a new life in North Korea. He taught English, acted in propaganda films, married a woman 20 years his junior and had two daughters.

    Then, two years ago, his life started to fall apart.

    In an unprecedented summit with Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il admitted in September 2002 that Jenkins' wife, Hitomi Soga, had been abducted and brought to the North against her will. With four other abductees, she was allowed to return home.

    But what North Korea claimed was supposed to be a short homecoming became a prolonged political tug of war, with Tokyo refusing to send Soga and the others back, and Pyongyang keeping their families virtual hostage.

    For the other families, that saga ended Saturday: Koizumi returned for his second summit with Kim and won the freedom of the five abductees' North Korea-born children in exchange for 250,000 tons of rice and 10 million worth of medical supplies.

    Jenkins, however, refused to leave.

    "Kim said he would leave the decision up to Jenkins," Koizumi said after a one-day summit with the reclusive North Korean leader. "I met with Jenkins and his daughters for an hour after the summit. But I was unable to sway him."

    The fate of Jenkins is a major issue in Japan, mainly because of an outpouring of sympathy for his wife, who has lived alone in her hometown on a small island since her return one month after the 2002 summit.

    Before leaving for Pyongyang, Koizumi vowed to bring home all the relatives - including Jenkins and his daughters. But officials said Jenkins balked at the plan because he fears he would be extradited to the United States to face a court martial.

    "We have been forced to give up on bringing them back right away," a senior government official traveling with Koizumi said. "But we will continue our efforts to reunite them."

    Little is known about Jenkins.

    According to American military officials, he was a 24-year-old sergeant when he left a border patrol on the South Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone to defect to the North. For defecting, the North Korean government gave him a car and a job teaching English. Soga was his student.

    Jenkins, a native of Rich Square, N.C., a small town near Raleigh, also acted in low-budget propaganda films. In one, he wore a skinhead wig to portray an evil American.

    Tokyo has asked Washington to give him special consideration, and perhaps a pardon. But U.S. officials, wary of taking such an action while soldiers are risking their lives in Iraq, have provided no such guarantees.

    "I'm sympathetic from a human point of view," U.S. Ambassador to Japan Howard H. Baker Jr. told reporters. "But he's classified as a deserter."

    From the start, Jenkins' position complicated efforts to bring the others to Japan.

    Shortly after the repatriation of his wife, he met with a Japanese media team in Pyongyang, where he was hospitalized, reportedly because of the stress of the separation. He called for his wife to return to the North.

    His daughters, Mika, 20, and Belinda, 18, are students at the Pyongyang University of Foreign Studies.

    Koizumi suggested that, if Jenkins was afraid of going to Japan, he meet to discuss his future with Soga in a third country, such as China.

    "I hope all four them will be able to be reunited as soon as possible," he said. "Jenkins said he welcomed that idea."

    In an optimistic tone before the summit, Soga, whose mother is also a suspected abduction victim but remains unaccounted for, said she wanted her family to be united and "never separated again."

    But she added that her daughters would likely face a major culture shock were they to join her in Japan.

    "They don't speak much Japanese," she said. "Maybe they could say `hello.'"
     
  2. 5stringJeff
    Offline

    5stringJeff Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2003
    Messages:
    9,990
    Thanks Received:
    536
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Puyallup, WA
    Ratings:
    +540
    No need to extradite him. We'll just send a Japanese mafia hit man out to this loser's place...
     
  3. DKSuddeth
    Offline

    DKSuddeth Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Messages:
    5,175
    Thanks Received:
    61
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    North Texas
    Ratings:
    +62
    can anyone say 'yakuza'? ;)
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  4. Lefty Wilbury
    Offline

    Lefty Wilbury Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Messages:
    1,109
    Thanks Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Ratings:
    +36
    http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-asia/2004/jul/18/071808344.html


    Alleged U.S. Deserter in Japan Hospital
    By JOSEPH COLEMAN
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    TOKYO (AP) -

    Gripping a cane and looking haggard, an American accused of deserting the U.S. Army and defecting to North Korea was hospitalized immediately after he arrived in Japan on Sunday, putting himself within the reach of U.S. authorities for the first time in 39 years.

    Charles Jenkins, who vanished from his platoon in 1965 and later played devilish American characters in communist propaganda films, faced possible U.S. military prosecution on desertion and other charges in Japan, although American officials have suggested they will delay taking him into custody.

    Jenkins' arrival, broadcast live by Japanese TV networks, drew deep public sympathy over the plight of his Japanese wife, Hitomi Soga, who married him after she was kidnapped in Japan by North Korean agents in 1978 and taken to the communist country. The couple has two daughters, Mika, 21, and Belinda, 18.

    The family arrived on a Japanese government-chartered flight from Jakarta, Indonesia, where they had held an emotional reunion after nearly two years of separation. Soga returned to Japan from North Korea with four other abductees in 2002, but Jenkins stayed behind with their daughters, fearing U.S. prosecution. Japan has an extradition treaty with the United States; Indonesia does not.

    Japanese and American officials say Jenkins, 64, needs medical attention after abdominal surgery in North Korea and for other health problems.

    He stepped painfully down the stairs from the government plane, clutching his cane as Soga supported him. When someone shouted to ask him how he felt, he shook his head sadly as he limped to a bus that took the family to a hospital.

    The Japanese government, eager to reunite Soga's family, has pushed for U.S. clemency for the North Carolina native and stood by its position that Jenkins' health should take priority over his legal problems.

    "The Japanese government will provide all the necessary support so Mr. Jenkins can concentrate on his medical treatment for now," Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda said.

    The United States has maintained its right to pursue a case against Jenkins. He was never officially discharged from the military and is subject to U.S. military authorities under an agreement between the United States and Japan, where some 50,000 U.S. troops are based.

    But American officials, including Ambassador Howard Baker, have said they are sympathetic to Jenkins' health troubles. Baker met with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi on Saturday and said U.S. custody could be delayed.

    Japanese officials say the United States had not officially asked to apprehend him.

    "I think they all are still a bit nervous, but they seem to have hope," Kyoko Nakayama, the government's envoy for the North Korean abduction issue, said of Jenkins' family.

    Jenkins reached Japan just days after authorities here helped Washington with another fugitive case - that of chess legend Bobby Fischer, who has been sought by the United States for attending a 1992 match in Yugoslavia despite international sanctions.

    Fischer was detained Tuesday in Japan, in a move that showed it willing to cooperate while still making the case on leniency for Jenkins.

    Jenkins' nephew, James Hyman, flew to Japan in hopes of seeing his uncle. In an appearance Sunday on Japan's NTV network, which accompanied him on the flight to Tokyo, Hyman said he had received a letter from Soga telling him and his family about Jenkins.

    Jenkins' family has denied that he is a deserter, maintaining that he was kidnapped by North Korea. Hyman called for his uncle to be pardoned.

    "We hope that it being so long since he's been gone that he might not be prosecuted," said Hyman, who said he had brought a country music CD as a gift for his uncle.

    The reunion of the Soga family was a potential boost to the beleaguered government of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, battered by elections last week for the upper house of Parliament in which the opposition Democratic Party made impressive gains.

    Koizumi has gone to great lengths to get Jenkins to Japan, taking as much as 90 minutes away from a May 22 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang to attempt to persuade the American to come to Tokyo. At that time, Jenkins refused.

    It was not immediately clear why Jenkins changed his mind, but a combination of his medical troubles, his reunion with Soga in Jakarta, Japanese reassurances and the more sympathetic stand of the United States may have provided encouragement.

    The breakthrough in the Soga case, while applauded, also prompted calls for progress in other outstanding abduction cases. North Korea has not yet fully accounted for eight other Japanese it admitted kidnapping in the 1970s and 80s but claims are dead. Tokyo has implicated Pyongyang in the disappearance of at least two others.

    "Next, we want the government to send officials over to North Korea and learn more about what happened to all those who the North says are dead, and then rescue them," Shigeru Yokota, whose daughter is a missing abductee, told NTV.

    --
     
  5. Comrade
    Offline

    Comrade Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Messages:
    1,873
    Thanks Received:
    167
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Seattle, WA.
    Ratings:
    +167
    Actually, the moral of the story is if you are planning to desert from the U.S. army into the arms of the enemy, you might want to be sure they have a proper health care system to keep you alive.

    As far as fleeing Iraq, and deserting your fellow Marines in a war zone. It seems like Arab Muslims are exempt from any immediate consequences or even equal treatment.
     
  6. DKSuddeth
    Offline

    DKSuddeth Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Messages:
    5,175
    Thanks Received:
    61
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    North Texas
    Ratings:
    +62
    Did they officially determine that he abandoned his post and unit?
     
  7. Comrade
    Offline

    Comrade Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Messages:
    1,873
    Thanks Received:
    167
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Seattle, WA.
    Ratings:
    +167
    Officially he was classified as a deserter, until the video was released of his captivity. He was then classified as captured.

    Since that point no official change from that position has been forthcoming, other than "released". I don't expect at this point we will here any public statement to the contrary that will again assert his role as a deserter. I'm willing to bet any investigation about changing his status back to desertion will be quietly tucked away and we will likely here little in the media to refute the findings, which will remain "inconclusive".

    After all, it's clearly a political hot potato, and a dead end to liberal media. If we see any action, it will be similar to how the Muslim who fragged his own officers pre-Iraq invasion. That is, any trial or discussion on his particular case will indeed be limited to one or two reports months later and with little fanfare. Scott Peterson and his daily trial updates are FAR more important in our media and dear God you can't possibly upset that whole story.
     
  8. Annie
    Offline

    Annie Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    Messages:
    50,847
    Thanks Received:
    4,644
    Trophy Points:
    1,790
    Ratings:
    +4,770
    http://www.showmenews.com/2004/Jul/20040725News031.asp

    Excerpt:

     
  9. dilloduck
    Offline

    dilloduck Diamond Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Messages:
    53,240
    Thanks Received:
    5,552
    Trophy Points:
    1,850
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Ratings:
    +6,403
    If the CIA wants some info from this guy we may never hear the true story come out. (It might be on the History channel in about 50 years tho!)
     
  10. Annie
    Offline

    Annie Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    Messages:
    50,847
    Thanks Received:
    4,644
    Trophy Points:
    1,790
    Ratings:
    +4,770

    :beer:
     

Share This Page