SEOUL, March 28 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean government on Tuesday welcomed a new report by the United Nations Human Rights Office condemning North Korea's abductions and human rights violations.
In the report published Tuesday, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) highlighted the economic, social and emotional suffering of victims of the forcibly disappeared. It also criticized systematic abductions and enforced disappearances by North Korea as "crimes against humanity."
Shortly after the release, South Korea's foreign and unification ministries, along with the defense and justice ministries, issued a joint press release welcoming the report.
"Our government welcomes the latest OHCHR report and we hope that the report contributes to raising the international community's interest in North Korea's dire human rights situation and the issue of enforced disappearance," the statement read.
The ministries also urged the North to take immediate steps to end such violations as recommended in the report, and to "expand cooperation with U.N. mechanisms in the field of human rights."
The report is based on 80 in-depth interviews conducted between 2016 and 2022 with 38 male and 42 female victims of enforced disappearance. They included the relatives of the forcibly disappeared, North Koreans who escaped their country and foreigners who have fled the North after being abducted.
It called on Pyongyang to acknowledge the occurrence of enforced disappearances, immediately return the victims of abduction and ensure full accountability for the crimes by carrying out independent investigations.
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