All Tuesday evening papers wrote that the UN Security Council held a meeting on Monday to discuss North Korea’s human rights abuses. This is the fourth year in a row for the council to discuss the issue. Although China insisted that the council is not a venue for discussing the issue and China, Russia, and Bolivia voted against the idea of discussing it at the council, ten countries, including the United States and Japan, backed the move. Ethiopia and Egypt abstained. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley stated that many Japanese and other countries’ nationals have been abducted by North Korea. Japanese Ambassador Bessho said a 13-year-old girl was among the victims of the abductions and that some of the family members of the abductees have passed away before they were able to see their loved ones again. However, North Korea’s UN Mission released a statement saying that the council is taking up a human rights issue that does not exist in the DPRK.
In a related development, Sankei reported on remarks made to the press on Tuesday by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga, during which he commented on the recent deaths of Charles Jenkins and Nobuko Masumoto. Jenkins was a former U.S. soldier who deserted to North Korea and later married Japanese abductee Hitomi Soga, and Masumoto was the mother of abductee Rumiko Masumoto. Suga reportedly said that it is extremely regrettable that the GOJ could not realize the return of any more abductees after five of them were returned to Japan.