Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday that he’s willing to continue efforting diplomacy with North Korea “until the first bomb drops.” Tillerson spoke at the 2017 Atlantic Council-Korea Foundation Forum in Washington. (Dec. 12)
A United Nations investigator said Thursday that he will look into claims by Pyongyang that South Korea abducted 12 North Korean women.
Tomas Ojea Quintana, the U.N. independent investigator on human rights for North Korea, told a news conference in Seoul that he asked South Korea’s vice foreign minister for his government to arrange for him to meet with the women, who worked at a North Korean restaurant in China. It wasn’t disclosed where in South Korea they are.
The women sang, danced and served food and drinks at the restaurant in Ningbo, about 100 miles south of Shanghai, before travelling to South Korea in April 2016.
Quintana said there were conflicting accounts of what happened to the women. North Korea regularly accuses the South of abducting its citizens, or enticing them to defect.
Pyongyang insists that South Korean spies abducted the waitresses, and has repeatedly demanded their return. South Korea denies the allegation and said they went to the country of their own free will.
South Korea’s government said it was the largest group defection by North Koreans to the South since North Korean leader Kim Jong Un took power in 2011.
“Parents of these women living in North Korea are claiming that their daughters were abducted, so all these factors oblige me to pay…