N. Korea Urged to Return Japanese, Other Abductees Immediately

Politics

New York, Dec. 11 (Jiji Press)--Eight countries including Japan and the United States said in a joint statement Friday that they "strongly urge" North Korea to realize the "immediate return" of Japanese and other abductees from the reclusive country.

The joint statement was issued following an unofficial U.N. Security Council meeting on the human rights situation in North Korea.

The eight countries, also including Germany, Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Estonia, France and Britain, criticized Pyongyang as "using the global (COVID-19) pandemic to crack down further on the human rights of its own people."

"We are deeply disturbed by a reported uptick in executions related to COVID-19, as well as strict controls on movement in and around the capital," the eight countries said.

"The (North Korean) government's decision to prioritize its weapons programs over the needs of its people and their isolation from the international community, is inevitably worsening the impacts of the pandemic on the North Korean population," they argued.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press