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GENEVA: Japan and the EU want the UN to launch an in-depth probe into rights abuses in North Korea, Japan’s vice foreign minister said yesterday.
“Although the international community has repeatedly expressed its concerns, it is deeply regrettable that the dire human rights situation in the DPRK (North Korea) remains unchanged,” Toshiko Abe said in an address to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
“Against this backdrop, Japan and the EU will jointly submit... a resolution including the establishment of a ‘new inquiry mechanism’ on the human rights situation in the DPRK,” he said.
The resolution to create a commission of inquiry on North Korea comes after UN human rights chief Navi Pillay last month decried the “deplorable” situation in the country.
Pillay stressed that “an in-depth inquiry into one of the worst, but least understood and reported human rights situations in the world is not only fully justified, but long overdue.”
She described meetings in December with two survivors of North Korea’s network of political prison camps—believed to hold at least 200,000 people—listing rampant violations that “may amount to crimes against humanity”.
Abe said the regime in Pyongyang had also failed to address “with sincerity” its abductions of Japanese citizens.
In 2002 North Korea admitted to kidnapping 13 Japanese in the 1970s and 1980s to teach its spies about the Japanese language and culture. AFP