News / Asia

UN Panel Hears from Relatives of Japanese Abucted by N. Korea

In this undated photo released Nov. 17, 2004, by the Tokyo-based National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea, Megumi Yokota stands by a car at an unknown place in North Korea after her abduction from her hometown in Japan.
In this undated photo released Nov. 17, 2004, by the Tokyo-based National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea, Megumi Yokota stands by a car at an unknown place in North Korea after her abduction from her hometown in Japan.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Relatives of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s urged a United Nations panel on Thursday to help step up efforts to find out more about those still missing.

The U.N. Commission of Inquiry that is investigating alleged human rights abuses in North Korea heard from several witnesses, including the parents of Megumi Yokota, who was abducted in 1977 at the age of 13.

Her 77-year-old mother, Sakie Yokota, told the panel that Megumi disappeared "like a puff of smoke," leaving her family in a tormented state that she said almost drove them mad.

Her father, 80-year-old Shigeru Yokota, said Pyongyang is the only one who knows how many Japanese were abducted. He pushed for the U.N. panel to pressure the North to release more information.

North Korea admitted in 2002 that it kidnapped some Japanese in order to force them to teach the Japanese language and culture to North Korean spies.

The North says all the abductees have since been returned or died. Many in Japan suspect Pyongyang is still hiding survivors and has abducted more people than it admits. The issue has become a major obstacle to Japan-North Korea relations.

The abductions are just one aspect of the many alleged human rights abuses being investigated by the three-member U.N. commission, which has been given a one-year mandate by the Security Council.

Earlier this week, it heard testimony from North Korean defectors about the conditions inside the North's prisons and labor camps, where as many as 200,000 people are thought to be held under abusive conditions.

Mike Kirby, who chairs the commission, has called for North Korea to participate in the investigation and provide open access to areas in question. North Korea has refused to recognize the panel. It also refuses to admit committing any human rights violations.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid