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N. Korea kidnap victim's brother seeks the truth

GENEVA -- The elegant brunette gazes out from a black and white photograph, her shoulder-length hair tumbling onto a floral print dress.

The ageing picture is a heartrending trace of Doina Bumbea, a 28-year-old Romanian who was ensnared by North Korea's regime in 1978 and who never saw her family again.

It is a chilling reminder of the global reach of North Korea's program of abducting foreign women, allegedly to breed a pool of spies for the secretive Stalinist state.

“More than words, I want the facts,” her brother Gabriel Bumbea, 47, said Monday as the U.N. Human Rights Council threw the spotlight on shocking violations by Pyongyang.

“My father died many years ago, in 1989. My mother is almost dead right now. My brother died nearly three months ago. So I'm the only one who has the will to fight, all alone,” he told AFP.

A U.N.-mandate commission of inquiry estimates that 200,000 people from other countries have over the decades been abducted by the secretive Stalinist state or disappeared after going there willingly.

“These international enforced disappearances are unique in their intensity, scale and nature,” the commission said in a no-holds-barred report released last month.

The overwhelming majority of the victims were South Koreans denied the right to return home after the 1950-1953 Korean War, or ethnic Koreans lured from Japan after 1959.

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