A U.N. human rights investigator has unveiled a new multitrack strategy to hold North Korea accountable for abductions of foreign nationals.
Marzuki Darusman, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in North Korea, laid out the strategy in a report to the U.N. Human Rights Council on Monday.
“Achieving closure and accountability for the abductions and enforced disappearances committed by the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the ultimate goal of this strategy,” the report said.
The new strategy involves a series of steps, including comprehensive mapping of abductions and sustained action by the U.N. Security Council and the General Assembly. It calls for the Security Council to discuss the abduction issue regularly.
“Regular action by the single most powerful United Nations entity will be of paramount importance in maintaining momentum on the issue and pressure on the authorities of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” the report said.
Darusman, a former Indonesian prosecutor general, gave a first indication of the new effort at a Washington conference last month.
Citing a finding by the Commission of Inquiry, a U.N. panel tasked with probing the North Korean human rights issue, the report said it is estimated that more than 200,000 foreign nationals have been abducted by the communist country.
In its report released early last year, the COI said Pyongyang has “engaged in the systematic abduction, denial of repatriation and subsequent enforced disappearance of persons from other countries on a large scale and as a matter of state policy” since 1950.
Jee Abbey Lee contributed to this report.