tokio - An American soldier who defected to North Korea in 1965 died. Former sergeant Charles Jenkins died in Japan at the age of 77, where he lived with his family since 2004.
The then 24-year-old Jenkins deserted half a century ago while he was stationed in South Korea. He later stated that he had done a drunken mood under the assumption that he would end up in Russia. The North Koreans, however, decided to keep him.
The American married the Japanese Hitomi Soga, who had been kidnapped by the North Koreans to teach spies. Jenkins played in North Korea, among other things, the role of evil American spy in a propaganda film. He also taught English to military personnel.
Soga was allowed to return to Japan in 2002. Her husband followed two years later with their two daughters. Jenkins then issued a symbolic penalty of thirty days due to desertion. Then he went to live in Sado. An official in that place confirmed his death without going into details.