South Korea’s National Human Rights Commission will ask the UN special rapporteur on North Korea’s human rights situation for assistance in investigating the whereabouts of six South Koreans being detained in the North.
 
The commission on Tuesday decided to submit a petition on the matter within this month to the UN special rapporteur as well as the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances which are both under the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
 
Usually, such petitions are submitted by civic groups or nongovernmental organizations rather than national institutes.
 
The National Human Rights Commission has never before submitted such a petition. It is unprecedented for a human rights organization of a country to make such an appeal.
 
The commission apparently decided to submit the petition as there is no other way to find out the situation of the South Koreans detained in the North.