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Jenkins, Charles

(1940- ). Former United States Army soldier who lived in North Korea from 1965 to 2004 after deserting. While patrolling the Korean Demilitarized Zone on the morning of January 5, 1965, Jenkins told his patrol he was going to investigate a noise. He subsequently crossed into North Korea and surrendered to forces there. Information about Jenkins's status was unavailable outside North Korea for many years. In 1980, Jenkins married Hitomi Soga, a 21-year old nurse who had been abducted by North Korean agents in 1978 during a search for Japanese schoolteachers who could train future spies. They had two daughters. Jenkins drew international interest again in 2002, when North Korean leader Kim Jong-il confirmed that North Korea had abducted Japanese citizens. The surviving abductees were allowed to travel to Japan, but Jenkins stayed behind. Japan formally requested a pardon for Jenkins, which the U.S. declined to grant. After expressing a desire to put his conscience at rest, Jenkins reported on September 11, 2004 to Camp Zama in Japan. He pleaded guilty to charges of desertion and aiding the enemy and was sentenced to 30 days' confinement and received a dishonorable discharge. Jenkins and his family settled on Sado Island in Japan, which is Soga's home. He published a book in Japanese in 2005, entitled To Tell The Truth, about his experiences in North Korea. (from Wikipedia).

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