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UN: North Korea Must Clarify Japanese Abductions

UN Human Rights Expert Calls On DPR Of Korea To Clarify Abductions Of Japanese

A United Nations human rights expert today called on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to respond “effectively and expeditiously” to Japan's claim that there are a number of abducted Japanese nationals who are still alive in the DPRK and that they should be returned to Japan immediately and safely.

The UN Commission on Human Rights last year appointed Thai law professor Vitit Muntarbhorn as Special Rapporteur to examine human rights in the DPRK, including the abduction of Japanese nationals in past decades.

Japan claims 15 people were abducted, five of whom have now returned to Japan. Of the remaining 10, the DPRK claims that only eight were taken into the DPRK and these have died. Pyongyang says it has returned the remains of two of them to Japan, but the authenticity of these remains has been contested by Tokyo.

Mr. Muntarbhorn, who ended a nine-day visit to Japan today, also called on the DPRK to ensure “reliable and objective verification” of its claim concerning the alleged deaths, “clarify related ambiguities and discrepancies” and ascertain whether other Japanese had been abducted.

He urged the DPRK to respect and guarantee family unity and reunification, particularly for those who have suffered from the abductions, and to rectify the discrepancies and enable the victims of abductions and their families to access justice and seek redress “effectively and expeditiously,” including bringing to justice those responsible for the acts.

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