U.S. soldier who fled to North Korea for 'dog's life' DIES

North Korea is in the running to build the deadliest nuke

He came to Japan with the couple's two North Korean-born daughters after being reunited in Jakarta with Soga in July 2004.

While in the secretive state, where he taught English to soldiers and portrayed an evil USA spy in a propaganda film, Mr Jenkins met and married Hitomi Soga, a Japanese woman 20 years his junior who had been kidnapped by North Korea to help train spies. After being released early, Jenkins began living with Soga in the city of Sado in Niigata Prefecture from December 2004 with their two daughters, Mika and Brinda.

The life of ex-US Army sergeant Charles Robert Jenkins as a defector to North Korea reads like dramatic novel.

Charles Jenkins died on Sado island on Monday, where he was living with his wife Hitomi Soga, also a former prisoner of North Korea. "I can not think now and would like to comment when I regain my calm".

But one bright spot in his life was Ms Soga, who was abducted from Japan to teach North Korean spies her language.

At first she refused his marriage proposals, but she eventually agreed after he convinced her that, even if they did not love each other yet, marrying him would at least provide her with the certainty of being safe rather than not knowing where she'd be taken next.

"I was astounded because it was so sudden", Soga said in a statement reported in Japanese media.

'You don't say no to North Korea.

"I had never seen anybody so handsome", Jenkins recalled in his memoir, "She was wearing a white blouse, a white skirt, and white high-heel shoes. You say one thing bad about Kim Il-sung and then you dig your own hole, because you're gone", Jenkins told his court martial, referring to the founder of North Korea.

He also met and married Hitomi Soga, a Japanese woman 20 years his junior who had been kidnapped by Pyongyang to help train spies in 1978. His wife was allowed to visit Japan in 2002 and stayed. Instead, they were held as prisoners by the North Koreans. "North Korea wants me dead", he told the L.A. Times.

He pleaded guilty to desertion and aiding the enemy and was dishonourably discharged and sentenced to 25 days in a U.S. military jail in Japan. But he said he had no plans to move back to the U.S.

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