The United Nations has questioned the North Korean government, asking Pyongyang for an explanation on the location of 41 people presumed missing or possibly abducted.
In reports from South Korea the UN group is understood to have issued an annual study online in which 41 “enforced disappearance” cases between May 23rd last year and May 15th this year have been highlighted.
Enforced disappearance is a term typically employed to describe an individual whose whereabouts are unknown after it is understood they have vanished following state ordered or state managed actions.
The report by the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) will now be given to the United Nations Human Rights Council’s 45th session, scheduled for a hearing between September 14th and October 2nd.
WGEID has previously requested the North Korean government in Pyongyang look into 316 cases of enforced disappearances over the past 40 years, to no avail.
It is hoped the government of Kim Jong-un may be more forthcoming than that of his father, Kim Jong-il.
Pyongyang has reportedly remained silent on any such cases or simply denied knowledge.
“The Working Group remains concerned by the lack of engagement and cooperation from a number of countries. For instance, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea continues to send standard replies without substantive information on the case transmitted,” the WGEID report says.
Some of the enforced disappearances supposedly linked to North Korea include that of their own citizens, with others of South Koreans and Japanese nationals dating back to the 1950 – 1953 Korean War.