Russia Brands As Provocation US Accusations Over North Korea

Brunilde Fioravanti
Gennaio 21, 2018

The families and their supporters will deliver a petition to The Hague-based ICC, requesting an investigation into the suspected abductions of at least 100 Japanese as a case of crimes against humanity.

At least six Chinese ships covertly engaged in trade with North Korea in violation of sanctions imposed by the United Nations, according to satellite photographs and other intelligence gathered by US officials, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. Five were later returned to Japan, according to Reuters.

While a 2014 United Nations report on North Korea says "it is probable that at least 100 Japanese nationals have been abducted" by Pyongyang, the Investigation Commission on Missing Japanese Probably Related to North Korea, a private organization set up in 2003, believes the disappearance of about 470 Japanese may have something to do with the country. The National Police Agency suggests that more than 850 people have been abducted by the country, according to The Japan Times.

The family members and representatives of a private group supporting them announced the effort at news conference in Tokyo on Friday.

Teruaki Masumoto is one of eight people traveling to the court to ask what happened to her sister, Rumiko, although North Korean officials have reportedly said her sister died.

But family members are hopeful that their petition will lead to more attention to their cause due to South Korea's increased communication with North Korea for the Olympics.

While the abductions themselves were carried out under the orders of North Korea's deceased leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, the current leader "is aware that not a small percentage of the abductees are still alive and that their freedom is severely restricted", says a draft petition obtained by Kyodo News on Thursday.

In the past, North Korean officials have said they would launch their own investigation into the missing but the family members are still waiting, according to Reuters.

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