• Three Minutes

The No-Invitation Zone

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

Quick Question: If you have a death wish, what would be the most exciting way to die?

I say, migrate to North Korea. 

As you might already know, North Korea has been quite infamous for its notorious activities involving missiles, nuclearisation and spies. So, today, we thought of discovering one of the most inhumane operations by North Korea, which was actually detailed in a book called “The No Invitation Zone”.  It was 1977. North Korea began a secretive but massive abduction program. One day, they just started kidnapping Japanese nationals from around the coast of Japan and began transporting them to Pyongyang. These people were captured and made to stay in the area, which came to be later known as ‘No invitation Zone’.  Why were they being kidnapped, you may ask? There were quite a few speculations.  Some say that North Koreans wanted these Japanese people to teach Japanese language and culture at their spy schools while others say that as majority kidnapped were below the age of 20, they were meant to be brainwashed to become spies for North Korea. Older victims were believed to be abducted for their identities and others were just witnesses of illicit activities of North Korean agents in Japan. The reported cases were much lower than the real abductions. In fact, in initial years, North Korea denied any responsibility of these kidnappings but later confessed a few abductions, which led to a lot of political backlashes. Post this, North Korea returned five victims to Japan on the condition that they have to return them back to North Korea later. After these victims reached Japan, they refused to return and in response to this North Korea refused to resume talks with Japan and return any more victims. The whereabouts of the remaining abductees are still unknown and it is said that now they work as spies for North Korea in other nations.  The Japanese government still claims that the issue has not been properly resolved and that all evidence provided by North Korea is forged. Post the kidnappings, Japan even discontinued trade with North Korea. Later, when the leadership in North Korea changed, they agreed for a probe into the abductee case and Japanese delegates went for inspection. But nothing was found. Sneaky, right? From then, there are on and off reports about sightings of missing Japanese nationals in Pyongyang but nothing is ever proved. Not only in Japan, but North Korea has also been involved in kidnappings in South Korea. For instance, in December 1969, a Korean Air Lines YS-11 was hijacked by a North Korean agent and the pilot was forced to fly to and land in North Korea. The crew, aircraft, and seven of the passengers are yet to be returned. North Korea claims that this was an act of asylum by the pilot, but it is considered to be another case of abduction.  These cases are considered the biggest conspiracies by North Korea. Some of these conspiracies we know, but what about the ones we don’t?

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