Thu, Mar 14, 2019 - Page 6 News List

Japan not to decry N Korean abuses

Reuters, TOKYO

Japan has decided for the first time in years not to submit to the UN a joint resolution condemning North Korea’s human rights abuses, given US efforts to end North Korea’s weapons program and other factors, Japan said yesterday.

Japan and the EU have submitted a motion condemning North Korea’s rights record to the UN every year since 2008. North Korea has repeatedly rejected accusations of rights abuses.

“The decision was made taking into consideration various factors comprehensively, such as results of the summit meeting between the US and North Korea and the situation of Japan’s abduction issue,” Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference.

Japan worries that the crucial issue of the fate of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korean agents would take a back seat to nuclear and missile issues in US-North Korean talks.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said that Japan was committed to normalizing diplomatic relations with North Korea, but that several issues, including North Korea’s kidnapping of its citizens, must first be resolved.

North Korea admitted in 2002 that it had kidnapped 13 Japanese in the 1970s and 1980s to train as spies, and five of them returned to Japan. Japan suspects that hundreds more might have been taken.

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