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EU and Japan to submit resolution condemning North Korea

October 28th, 2006 . by Matt

megumi yokota
Megumi Yokota – kidnapped in 1977 at the age of 13 on the orders of the North Korean government

The EU and Japan are to submit a resolution to the UN condemning North Korea’s state sponsored kidnapping of Japanese and other foreigners.

NEW YORK — The draft of a new U.N. resolution that Japan and the European Union is sponsoring contains a phrase bitterly criticizing Pyongyang’s abduction of foreigners as violations of state sovereignty and human rights abuses, it was learned Friday.

Japan and the EU will jointly submit the draft resolution to a U.N. General Assembly panel on human rights by early November.

North Korea has been increasingly isolated from the rest of the world since it conducted a nuclear test earlier this month and will likely come under mounting pressure from the international community over the human rights issue, diplomatic sources said.

The draft, a copy of which has been obtained by the Mainichi, points out that organized, extensive and serious human rights abuses have been reported in North Korea. As examples, it cites the existence of concentration camps, torture of North Korean escapees who have been forcibly sent back home and human trafficking of women.

It is more strongly worded than the previous resolution adopted last December in condemning Pyongyang for its human rights abuses.

It brands North Korea’s abduction of foreigners including Japanese nationals as a violation of other states’ sovereignty and an abuse of human rights of the individuals concerned. Last year’s resolution stopped short of condemning North Korea for abducting foreign nationals.

U.N. resolutions are legally nonbinding, but express the international community’s opinions.

There are plenty of missing people all around the world. Who knows how many of them are in North Korea against their will? The North Korean government is holding people against their will to this very day, and needs to be strongly condemned.


39 Responses to “EU and Japan to submit resolution condemning North Korea”

  1. comment number 1 by: sqz

    Eighty-eight countries including Japan and the United States supported last year’s resolution and 21 countries such as North Korea, China and Russia voted against it while South Korea and 59 other member states abstained from voting.

    人権の無い国は、反対に投票したか、もしくは棄権しました。
    The countries without human rights voted against, or abstained from voting.

  2. comment number 2 by: tomato

    It’s a wonder why the NKs still defy the international community. Like, providing Japan with fony bones instead of Megumi’s, telling lies about her death, etc.

    One possible explanation is that the abductees were probably tortured to death, executed, died in gulags, or if ever alive, insane because of the hideous abuse by the NKs. If so, the NKs can never disclose these horrifying facts…unless a regime change occurs. Personally, I don’t see what’s wrong with calling NK the “axis of evil”.

  3. comment number 3 by: ponta

    China and Russia voted against it while South Korea and 59 other member states abstained from voting.

    More South Korean people have been abducted and yet South Korea abstained from voting.
    The unification is one thing, and protesting against the huge crime is another.
    Do you want to live in a country where the state give up on you and its countryman are content with its decision when you are abducted from the agent of a foreign nation?.

  4. comment number 4 by: helical

    It’s not surprising that Japan and European countries are the two main bodies involved since those are where the most abductions by North Korea take place, (minus the indifferent South Korea) if I remember correctly.
    However, if countries which their citizens have been victimized by North Korean abductions are to participate, I expected Southeast Asian countries would have taken a part as well. I believe Soga Hitomi said there were victims from Thailand, so I would assume similar abductions take place in other countries in the region.

  5. comment number 5 by: chul_soo

    hi all… i am new 😀

    i dont see any point of condemning north korea. they probably dont give a damn about opinion of EU and japan (and probably UN). only nation nk will listen to is china. so let’s get real and stop wasting time drafting a resolution that nk wont care about. if EU and japan want to do something productive then they should pressure china.

  6. comment number 6 by: helical

    chul_soo,

    i dont see any point of condemning north korea. they probably dont give a damn about opinion of EU and japan (and probably UN).

    I agree that a verbal condemnation will do little to persuade North Korea to change its ways. But my guess is that, rather than aimed at coercing NK to do something, the joint condemnation provides a moral justification of a sort in the case that some forceful action is actually taken against NK by a particular party. They could point to this resolution and say “(almost) everyone agrees you are bad, so we are justified in coming in and doing whatever is necessary to set things right.” I believe an action undertaken by the UN would have the same message, but it doesn’t hurt to make clear that there is a consensus among most everyone else.

    only nation nk will listen to is china.

    It’s still better than nothing, but North Korea doesn’t seem to be really listening to China any more, with the missile and nuke tests carried out despite China telling them not to do it. So convincing China to do the talking doesn’t seem to be as a definitive solution so much more, though they could still hurt NK by cutting off various oil pipelines and the like.

    if EU and japan want to do something productive then they should pressure china.

    One proposed radical method I’ve heard to get China to be super-cooperative, super-quick is for Japan to think out loud that it needs to go nuclear in the face of unacceptable threats from the Korean peninsula. A nuclear Japan is somewhere near the top of the list of things that gives Beijing nightmares, so they should be willing to go to great lengths to keep Japan in the NPT including taking punitive actions against their vassal state(s). It’s been shown in the past that China is none too hesitant to do so anyways.
    But this is, as I said, pretty radical so I would hope China stays cooperative without such drastic measures.

  7. comment number 7 by: melly

    This is pretty hypocritical of Japan, seeing how they have not signed the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

    Basically, if an abducted child is taken to Japan, there is no law enforcing the release of the child. Seems backwards that Japan is protesting the abductions of their citizens, but wont enforce the return of abducted foreigners to their home country.

    A: Non-Hauge Countries
    B: Video

  8. comment number 8 by: Matt

    This is pretty hypocritical of Japan, seeing how they have not signed the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

    Basically, if an abducted child is taken to Japan, there is no law enforcing the release of the child. Seems backwards that Japan is protesting the abductions of their citizens, but wont enforce the return of abducted foreigners to their home country.

    A: Non-Hauge Countries
    B: Video

    Melly, although it is unfortunate that foreigners involved in a custody dispute with their Japanese ex-hubands or wives get the short end of the stick in the Japanese legal system, we really are talking about two very different issues here. None of the victims kidnapped and sent to North Korea have a North Korean parent. The kidnappings were also ordered by the North Korean government, while the custody disputes you are talking about were not caused by the Japanese government. Furthermore, it is not only Japanese people that are victims of the kidnapping, but people of many other countries as well.

    Really melly, I hope that a better procedure for international custody disputes can be put in place, but I think you do your cause a disservice by using this kind of rhetorical device. You will hardly gain any empathy from people by bashing their legitimate causes. I think you need to take a different approach.

  9. comment number 9 by: tomato

    melly,

    The kidnapping by NK can be compared to kidnappings done by Iraqi insurgents against foreign nationals. You can’t be serious in your reasoning.

    What comes next? Save the whales from Japan? Well go tell the Icelanders first, as they have commenced their commercail whaling now. Or maybe not because Japan is more bashable, being an Asian country and member of the former axis ?

    Hope you’re not posting a “red-herring” !

  10. comment number 10 by: sqz

    第一回報告書審査 児童の権利委員会からの質問に対する回答

    上記は英訳文が存在しません。
    There is not an English translation sentence of the above article.
    要約すると
    I translate summary it.
    1994年4月に日本は同条約を批准している。
    In April 1994, Japan ratifies the treaty.
    しかし、同条約では18歳未満の者を「児童」としているが、
    However, in the treaty, the person under 18 years old is child.
    日本国内法では20歳未満の者を「児童」としている。
    But, in Japan, the person under 20 years old is child.
    その影響の大きい「第37条(c)」を留保している。
    Therefore, Japan reserves “Article 37 (c)”.
    また、解釈の分かれる「第9条1」と「第10条1」に対し、日本の解釈を宣言している。
    In addition, Japan declares Japanese interpretation because “Article 9, 1” and “Article 10, 1” have various interpretation.

  11. comment number 11 by: ponta

    Basically, if an abducted child is taken to Japan, there is no law enforcing the release of the child.

    That is not exactly true.
    The law similar to Habeas Corpus Act is working in Japan. In fact, based on this law, the court can order the mother to give the kid back to the father if the court judge that that is in the best interest of the kid.
    I have not examined the Hague convention yet, but I think basically the group is saying that there should be easier way for them to deal with the issue. I agree in this regard. (or they don’t know the Habeas_Corpus_Act in Japan)

    Besides, as matt said, there is huge difference between this case and
    North Korean Kidnapping.
    In case of North Korea, people are put a gag and packed in the bag and taken away to the North Korea by North Korean government agents.
    I just can not believe how people can compare the two cases.

    And I can not understand how South Korean people can be silent about the kidnapping by North Korea.

    Effective or not, I think people should express their attitude that the
    wrong is wrong. South Korea has made a big mistake in this regard, only to give the room for the dictator to misuse the good intention of South Korea.

  12. comment number 12 by: hls

    Hi,

    I do not know where to put this info, so I just post it here:
    http://www.sanin-chuo.co.jp/news/modules/news/article.php?storyid=333839006

    Seems they finally found the proof of Japan recognizing Takeshima as part of Shimane back in 1909. It is an official archive.

  13. comment number 13 by: kojibomb

    You can’t just call NK “axis of evil” because not everybody in NK are … let’s say kidnappers in this case. Call Kim Jong Il the NK leader and its government evil if that makes you feel good, tomato.

    I have a question. Why do Japan want Takeshima so badly? I mean we didn’t really care about it in the past, but why is it so important now?

  14. comment number 14 by: tomato

    Call Kim Jong Il the NK leader and its government evil if that makes you feel good, tomato.

    I don’t think your comment is nice, kojiomb.

    Why do Japan want Takeshima so badly? I mean we didn’t really care about it in the past, but why is it so important now?

    Why should Japan let go of her legitimate territory? You tell me.

  15. comment number 15 by: GarlicBreath

    kojibomb, but NK is axis of evil, at least part of it with Iraq and Iran. The US leader GW bush is 100% right.

    I have a question. Why do Japan want Takeshima so badly? I mean we didn’t really care about it in the past, but why is it so important now?

    are you pretending to be japanese? I smell heavy garaic…. Are you kojimal-jengi kojbomb…

  16. comment number 16 by: kojibomb

    How do you quote?

    anywayz,
    “Personally, I don’t see what’s wrong with calling NK the “axis of evil”.” that is what you said, so i just responded that don’t call the whole nation axis of evil because there are innocent civilians too.
    Sorry if my comments offended you

    About takeshima,
    I just don’t think we need to try to claim over that little island and make relationship between Japan and Korea worse. I don’t know what profits we will have. I think we should let go of Takeshima to reconcile with SK.

  17. comment number 17 by: kojibomb

    now that is offensive lol… I m not Japanese, but american.

    My background: mom’s Korean and dad’s Japanese but I lived in Japan/Korea for only about 1 year each before so yea…

    i don’t call Iraq or Afghan axis of evil. I just call those terrorist groups axis of evil.

  18. comment number 18 by: GarlicBreath

    Koji-

    I just don’t think we need to try to claim over that little island and make relationship between Japan and Korea worse. I don’t know what profits we will have. I think we should let go of Takeshima to reconcile with SK

    Good point, lets let Korea do the right thing and take it to ICJ and let them fairly decide. Then Japan and S korea can try and get along well. If you think that its no big deal for Japan to give up her claim, then you should agree that Korea can just as easely give up her claim. That is of course unless you are a Chosun-Jin.

  19. comment number 19 by: kojibomb

    Do not call S koreans Chosen Jins too.. SK people think Chosenjin is very racist. =p

    anywayz… we finally agree with each other. I think SK and Japan should try to get along and fairly decide. I know Japan claimed for takeshima, but SK claimed for something???

  20. comment number 20 by: GarlicBreath

    koji-

    I think to post on this blog you must be 18. The discussion is for adults.

  21. comment number 21 by: kojibomb

    You don’t have to worry about that. I m 20 and attending UBC in CANADA right now.

  22. comment number 22 by: helical

    The problem I have with the label “axis of evil” is oversimplification of an issue with many, many faces into good vs evil. After all, one of the primary warning signs for fallacious arguments is when you “boil things down to such-and-such”.
    It’s true that the North Korean government has abducted, killed, tortured, and done many other things to people which we find evil, so one would be justified in labeling the NK government and leaders as evil in that sense, and taking action to stop such acts would be morally justified in most views.
    However, unless you subscribe to a view of morality based entirely on absolutes (religious extremism, fascism, etc.), you would need to recognize that countries perhaps make very poor choices but there are no inherently “evil” countries as a whole. If you fail to see that all countries act in their own perceived self-interest, there will be no room for such a thing called “diplomacy”.

    kojibomb,

    How do you quote?

    Use the “b-quote” (blockquote) button to put tags around the block of text you want to quote.

    I think we should let go of Takeshima to reconcile with SK.

    While I agree that making an issue of that little piece of rock is fairly ridiculous, one of the conditions (and duty) for an independent, sovereign country in the modern definition is that it retains and protects its territory.
    It’s been proven fairly thoroughly on this site that Japan has legitimate claim over the island, both historically and legally. Therefore, Japan just letting it go because of South Korean squatters and aggression is equal to Japan abandoning its legitimacy as a government of a country, regardless of the actual economic worth of the territory.

  23. comment number 23 by: GarlicBreath

    koji-

    now that is offensive lol… I m not Japanese, but american.

    You don’t have to worry about that. I m 20 and attending UBC in CANADA

    Why does an ‘amerian’ go to a canadian school?

  24. comment number 24 by: kojibomb

    because american schools are expensive… And UBC is pretty good school top 50s in the world. I think its like 3xth… and UBC has 2nd biggest number of Japanese in North America after Hawaii uni i think so…

  25. comment number 25 by: GarlicBreath

    UBC, I am impressed. Isnt UBC known as the SNU of Canada?

    Anyway, something about your story does not add up. I dont see any reason for you to lie, but something is fishy.

  26. comment number 26 by: tomato

    About takeshima,
    I just don’t think we need to try to claim over that little island and make relationship between Japan and Korea worse. I don’t know what profits we will have. I think we should let go of Takeshima to reconcile with SK.

    If you’re not Japanese, don’t quote yourself azs “we”, for obvious reasons, kojibomb!

    Now why does Japan has to reconcile, kojibomb? Why can’t the South Koreans end their occupation of the island and stop making the piece of rock a symbol for Japan-hate?

    Why can’t the South Koreans back off and end their anti-Japan propaganda and education? Don’t tell me you don’t know anything about how Koreans are educated, kojibomb. If you don’t know, I think you should find out.

  27. comment number 27 by: dudeinwales

    I love how some South Koreans think that Chosenjin (朝鮮人) is somehow a racist word. What exactly is it about the word that is racist? After all, every North Korean uses 조선인 to refer to themselves. And once KJI gets his hands on the South, everyone in Korea will call themselves 朝鮮人 and not 한국인 to refer to themselves.

  28. comment number 28 by: kojibomb

    They do think its racist so stop calling SK chosenjin. Call them S Koreans. You can call NK chosenjin because they refer to themselves as Josen. Whatever, SK think not some but all think Chosenjin is racist so don’t use it to South Koreans.

  29. comment number 29 by: kojibomb

    I m sorry tomato, but I do think I m Japanese, Korean, American. Inmy school, I tell Japanese friends I m Japanese American, Korean friends Korean American. Although I m mixed and I may not know alot about Korea and Japanese history, my background is Korea and Japan so that’s why I say “we.”

    SK and Japan should reconcile because they are neighbors. Why shouldn’t they have better relationship than now?

  30. comment number 30 by: helical

    dudeinwales,

    I can’t speak for the Korean community, but perhaps they regard Chousenjin (朝鮮人) as a discriminatory word because it has been used in a discriminatory context often? It could be similar to the way that “Japs” and “Nips” is a discriminatory word because it was used in a derogatory way even though it’s just an abbreviated form of the proper name “Japanese” or “Nipponese”. Another similar thing is where the Chinese hate to be called Shinajin (支那人) by the Japanese even though Shina = China, Sino-, etc.

    But unless there is a separate term encompassing the whole Korean population (after all, their wish is to be reunited, right?), I’m curious how the connotation of the word will change, or what new word they will use to refer to themselves as a whole. If North Korea uses the word still, I’m not so sure they will readily give that up to use the Kan (Han, 韓) character to refer to themselves.

  31. comment number 31 by: dudeinwales

    In a way, the fuss about the use of the word “조선인” is a lot like the debate about whether 老外 (lao wai) is a racist term. Most Chinese people just use the word to mean “foreigner”. Of course, more xenephobic Chinese people will use the word in a derogatory way, but the debate over 朝鮮人 is perhaps even more ridiculous since it is the word a great many Koreans demand to be referred to as. It’s roughly the equivalent of me asking English people to stop referring to me as “Irish” because I think they are using it in a derogatory way.

    What do South Koreans want to be referred to as? Probably just 한국인, but wouldn’t Japanese people who assume all Koreans use 한국인 as supposed to 조선인 possibly offend Chosensoren and South Korean communists? This PC madness is absurd.

  32. comment number 32 by: tomato

    SK and Japan should reconcile because they are neighbors. Why shouldn’t they have better relationship than now?

    If you think it’s as easy as that, I would have to invite you to the real world, kojibomb.

    Like I said, the South Korean government encourages Japan-hate. How about Japan? I assure you that Japan does not embrace Korea-hate or even China-hate. So the problem here is that the Korean leaders are using the Japan-hate (which is very much connected with their belief in ethnic superiority) to unite its country. If you don’t know anything about this, I think you should try to find out. It’s quite obvious, and not so hard to find them.

  33. comment number 33 by: kojibomb

    I don’t think Korean government teaches its people anti-Japan. I blame the media.

    And It is some of the people, not all. Of course on web you are going to find these absurb SK who show extreme hatred toward Japan because the most websites about Japan and Korea want you to believe that but I think that’s not true.

    If you think SK people hate Japan, I disagree…

    Well, how do you explain about thousands of Koreans and Japanese travelling SK or Japan; thousands of Korean and Japanese exchange students in universities; Koreans eating Japanese food, learning Japanese culture and language and vice versa; more and more.

    In many foreign countries also, Japanese and Korean people help each other out, and if you also seach in web, you will see all these touching stories with pictures… I think too much negative images of SK got some people to believe that SK’s government is encouraging Japan-hate.

  34. comment number 34 by: ponta

    kojibomb

    I don’t think Korean government teaches its people anti-Japan. I blame the media.

    It is true that Korean media is to be blamed but I think Korean government is also responsible for it.
    Children’s drawings in the subway!
    Korean
    history textbook translated in Japanese
    truly evil Japanese

    As for chousenjin, it is just a word for Korean people.
    日本ー人 = nihon- jin (jin=peron) =Japanese person
    アメリカー人=Amerika-jin=American person
    朝鮮ー人 = chousen-jin =Korean person
    So as somebody pointed out, it is a context that determine the connotation. I think Korean people are overreacting in this regard, which makes some people want to use the term more.
    But I am ready not to use the term if SK people don’t want it.

    As for takeshima-Dokdo, it is not a big deal for Japan.All Japan wants to do is just settle the issue peacefully. Let ICJ judge and the whole truth will come out. A few Japanese are excited about it.On the other hand, it is a big deal for Korea, because their claims are filled with lies, and it is a symbol of ultranationalism.

    In many foreign countries also, Japanese and Korean people help each other out

    This is great. In Japan too, many ethnic Korean people and Japanese are helping each other. Nobody is inherently evil. On a individual basis, there is no problem. Korea is a young nation in the international stage. Korea is often immature in politics, in history education. And strong nationalism is making some of them blind.

    SK and Japan should reconcile because they are neighbors. Why shouldn’t they have better relationship than now?

    If Korea was at the distant galaxy, Korea and japan would be have much better relations. It is neighbors who often fight. So don’t take the issue too seriously. You have a great background, Japan and Korea and USA. That is great. I hope you ‘ll make the best of it. Keep a good relation with your Korean friends and Japanese friends.

    .

  35. comment number 35 by: sqz

    少しくらい、ここの話題に関連するようにしましょう。
    Be related to this topic.

    I don’t think Korean government teaches its people anti-Japan. I blame the media.

    韓国与党国会議員がこのような書簡を横田滋さんに送りました。
    Korea Diet member sent a letter to Yokota Shigeru.

    「数十万の『朝鮮人めぐみ』をご存知ですか?」
    日本語
    韓国語

    彼は、これをマスコミに公表することによって、韓国人の反日感情を刺激しました。
    He stimulated Korean anti-Japan sentiment by announcing this in mass communication.
    そして、韓国政府はいまだに韓国人拉致被害者の対策を何もしていません。
    And, Korea government does not yet measures of a Korean abductee.

  36. comment number 36 by: tomato

    kojibomnb,

    I asked you to find out, not refute the facts. After you find out what the Korean government is doing, you can refute all you want. Look at past posts here, then maybe you’ll get to know some. There’s no way to circumvent from what’s actually happening, no matter how your ideals are great.

    BTW, this is off the subject here, as sqz pointed out.

  37. comment number 37 by: shadkt

    ponta,

    日本ー人 = nihon- jin (jin=peron) =Japanese person
    アメリカー人=Amerika-jin=American person
    朝鮮ー人 = chousen-jin =Korean person

    There are two words in Japanese.
    朝鮮人 = Chousen-jin = N. Korean person
    韓国人 = Kankoku-jin = S, Korean person

    Since the country is divided currently, it’s only natural to refer to them
    by their respective country names.

    But neither is racist term as the two zai-nichi (permanent residents of Korean descent who refuse to take Japanese citizenship) organizations are not protesting the use in Japa (and they have been protesting any little thing
    that was “anti-human rights” as they see it).

  38. comment number 38 by: treesjess

    I lived in South Korea for 2 years. It was a great experience. I went to many clubs in Hongdae (Seoul), Chinatown (Incheon City), and Gyeongju. Gyeongju was my favorite place in all of Korea as well. But I agree that the educatoin in Korea is not good. It’s too much hate. Children as young as 8 years old say that hate Japan and teenagers say they hate the U.S. It’s wasting energy teaching this. Something better should be taught like stop littering, waiting in line, and learning how to drive. Too many people litter in South Korea. There’s trash lying everywhere in the country and you can see the people littering all the time. Also, people are always breaking traffic laws such as not stopping at red lights, stop signs and at crosswalks. Korea is a great country, but wasting energy on useless garbage. Korea also needs to focus on exposing it’s culture to the world. Korea is still unknown, even though Korean products such as LCD tv’s, cell phones, household appliances and mp3 players are great.

  39. comment number 39 by: Two Cents

    shadkt,
    Actually, I think the loud minority of the zainichi are protesting the use of the term “Chosen-jin,” which they regard for some impcomprehensible reason to be a racist term, and trying to spread the usage of “zainichi korean” to refer to them. You no longer hear politically-correct media using “Chosen-jin.”

    Technically, there are no North Korean nationals in Japan since Japan does not recognize NK as a state. As the normalization treaty between SK and Japan states, SK is the sole entity recognized by Japan as the state governing the ENTIRE Korean peninsula. NK is regarded as a region of the Taehaminguk controlled by insurgents.That is why the reparations to SK covered the whole peninsula, which means that when unified, it is SK that must pay NK its rightful share of the reparations. (However, I’m sure Koreans will conveniently forget the fact that SK claimed to have represented the entire peninsula ands insist Japan pay more.)

    The Chosen people in Japan are stateless people, consisting of those who intentionally or unintentionally have not applied for (or have been rejected) Japanese citizenship, those who have not applied for (or have been refected ) South Korean citizenship, and finally, those who remain loyal to Kim Jong-il and would die rather than become South Korean or Japanese citizens. The latter, I assume, can get their hands on North Korean passports, although such passports are invalid in Japan. Before the normalization treaty in 1965, South Koreans were also referred to as Chosen-jin. However, since the official Asian name for the Democratic People’s Repbulic of Korea is 朝鮮民主主義共和国 (Democratic People’s Republic of Chosun), I guess even after the NK is officially recognized by Japan, its people will continue to be called Chosen-jin in Japan.

    I have always wanted to ask Koreans the reason for the choice in selecting Chosun or Hanguk as their nation’s lineage. I guess the North believes it’s an offspring of the Chosun dynasty (though they did not try to re-throne the king) and the South (大韓民国) believes it to be a continuation from the 大韓帝国, the Empire of Hanguk. I wonder why both countries use Korea in their official English names, since neither name uses the word 高麗 (Korea).