New figures on North’s abductionsWASHINGTON - North Korea has kidnapped more than 180,000 foreigners over the past decades, including about 82,000 South Koreans taken to the North forcefully during the three-year Korean War that ended in 1953, a human rights group here claimed Thursday.
In announcing a report on the abductions by North Korea at the Foreign Press Center, the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea called on the governments of South Korea, the U.S. and other countries involved to join forces to demand that North Korea repatriate the kidnapped or their remains if they have died.
Other countries whose nationals have been abducted to the North include China, Japan, France, Italy, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Romania, Malaysia, Singapore, Jordan and Thailand, the group said.
It also recommended that the U.S. government relist North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.
The Obama administration has dismissed calls by hardliners to relist the North, saying it has not found concrete evidence to support such a move.
The previous Bush administration removed Pyongyang from the list in October 2008 to facilitate the six-party talks on the North’s nuclear dismantlement.
North Korea was first put on the list after the downing of a Korean Air flight over Myanmar in 1987, which killed all 115 people aboard.
The group’s report denounced North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and his father and predecessor, Kim Il Sung, for their direct involvement in the kidnapping of foreign nationals.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il admitted to then-Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in Pyongyang in 2002 that the North had abducted 13 Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s for training spies on Japanese language and culture.
The North returned five abductees and claimed eight others were dead.
Japan insists at least 17 Japanese have been abducted and that more are still alive in the North.
한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]
미국 북한인권위 “북 18만명 납치 … 평양 외곽에 납북자 거주지”
미국의 비정부기구인 북한인권위원회(HRNK)가 12일 공개한 평양 외곽 동북리 초대소 일대의 납북자 거주지역 인공위성 사진. 납북된 한국인과 일본인 거주지 등이 표시되어 있다. 이 단체는 북한이 한국전쟁 때부터 지금까지 12개국에서 18만여 명을 납치했다고 주장했다. 이 중에는 일본에서 북송사업으로 건너간 조총련 동포 9만여 명이 포함됐다. 이 단체는 또 납북자 문제 해결을 위해 국제적 연대를 구성해 북한을 압박할 것을 권고했다.