By Kim Se-jeong
South Korea has dismissed as ``unrealistic’’ Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s comment on sending troops to the Korean Peninsula if a war breaks out.
Speaking to the families of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea, Friday, Kan said that in the event of war on the peninsula, he’d send Self-Defense Forces to rescue abductees in the North and Japanese residents in the South.
An anonymous official at Cheong Wa Dae said Kan’s comment was “unrealistic,” according to Yonhap News Agency.
The official admitted to a rising level of communication with Japan in the wake of North Korea’s attack on Yeonpyeong Island last month, but he said the two nations had no discussions about troop dispatches.
“It appears that his comment didn’t have any serious implication,” he said, adding that the remarks may have been to appease the families of the abductees.
The abduction of Japanese citizens by North Korea took place mainly in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The Japanese government has officially recognized 17 abductees but the real number is believed to be closer to 100 _ North Korea only acknowledged 13 abductees.
Pyongyang reportedly kidnapped them to teach students at a spy school Japanese language and culture. Kim Hyun-hee, the surviving bomber of a South Korean passenger plane in 1987, was taught by one of the kidnapped Japanese tutors. She visited the family of her tutor Yaeko Taguchi in July this year.