UN committee urges North Korea to return all abductees

A UN General Assembly committee has adopted for the 19th straight year a resolution urging North Korea to immediately return all the foreign nationals it has abducted.

The Third Committee of the General Assembly adopted the resolution by consensus on Wednesday after none of the members requested a vote.

The European Union submitted the draft to the committee on human rights issues. It was co-sponsored by more than 60 countries, including Japan and South Korea.

The resolution strongly condemns human rights violations by the North and expresses serious concerns about the long years of suffering experienced by abductees and their families.

Minister at Japan's UN mission, Ono Sho, said Yokota Megumi was abducted by North Korean agents in the Japanese prefecture of Niigata exactly 46 years ago on November 15.

He noted that her mother, Yokota Sakie, is now 87 years old, and Arimoto Akihiro, the father of another abductee, Arimoto Keiko, is 95.

Ono urged Pyongyang to take concrete actions to resolve the abduction issue, saying "there is no time to waste."

China and Russia said they do not support the resolution.

The North's Ambassador to the UN, Kim Song, said it is a political conspiracy, and his country rejects it. He left the committee in the middle of the session.