North Korea sent a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres requesting assistance in repatriating a group of North Korean waitresses who defected from China.
North Korea has previously claimed the waitresses were abducted to South Korea.
North Korea’s Ambassador to the U.N. Ja Song Nam sent the letter to Guterres last Friday: “We cannot but express our disappointment at the fact that no action has been taken by the U.N. until now as we have entered 2017 without even a reply to our letters,” Ja wrote, according to KCNA. “How to deal with this case will be a touchstone testing the true stand of the U.N. for the promotion and protection of human rights.”
The letter also demanded the repatriation of Kim Ryen-hi, a North Korean defector living in the South who has claimed she was kidnapped in June 2011, according to South Korean newspaper Maeil Business.
The group of waitresses escaped from Ryugyong restaurant in Ningbo, China, then entered South Korea.
Choi Sung-ryong, a rights activist in South Korea, said a source in North Korea informed him Pyongyang plans to send envoys to the annual meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.