Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
June 16, 2022
Thank you, Mr. Hoshino Toshiya, for your introduction and thank you to the Mission of Japan for hosting this event.
I want to start by thanking the families here with us today – for your courage, for your persistence, and for sharing your stories. The abduction of your family members is heartbreaking beyond belief. The United States unequivocally condemns the DPRK government’s involvement in international abductions and forced disappearances. Abducting citizens of Japan and other nations, and forcibly keeping them – against their will – in the DPRK is a travesty.
The DPRK is responsible for so many human rights abuses. At the end of last year, I met with Joy, a survivor from the DPRK. Her story – of near-starvation, of daring escape, of strength in the face of terrible adversity – brought me to tears. We have to constantly recognize the human toll of this regime. And that especially includes those forced – cruelly and unlawfully – into it.
We call on the DPRK to release all those unlawfully kidnapped and detained, and to allow them to return to their families. To start, the DPRK must release full information about them, right now without delay.
In the meantime, we will continue to work closely with our friends and allies, including Japan, to resolve these longstanding injustices. The United States stands with you, your families, and the international community in pressing for an immediate resolution. I am thinking of you and feeling for you. And we will fight for you in every forum we can. Thank you.