11:15 18 February 2017
Japan envoy seeks help in settling N. Korea abductions
NEW YORK, Feb. 17, Kyodo
Japanese Ambassador to the United Nations Koro Bessho on Friday sought to enlist support for resolution of North Korea's abductions of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s.
"Victims and their families are waiting for the opportunity to see their loved ones for decades. This issue can afford no further delays," Bessho said at an event commemorating the 10th anniversary of the signing of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, which took effect in 2010.
"We call upon other (U.N.) member states for their support."
There has been no substantial progress in bilateral talks on the issue, although North Korea agreed with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government in 2014 to reinvestigate the abductions of Japanese nationals.
Pyongyang said in February last year it was suspending the probe in response to tougher sanctions imposed by Japan over North Korean nuclear and missile tests.
Japan officially lists 17 nationals as abduction victims but suspects North Korea's involvement in more disappearances. The abduction issue remains an obstacle to the normalization of diplomatic ties between the countries.