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US lawmakers seek to renew legislation on NK human rights
Name: admin
2012-05-30 14:52:40  |  Hit 6620
WASHINGTON (Yonhap) -- U.S. lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday on continuing efforts to promote human rights in North Korea under the new leadership.

The legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and 20 other bipartisan members of the House, calls for extending until 2017 the authorities of the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2014.

The existing Act, last reauthorized in a 2008 law, is designed to put pressure on Pyongyang for human rights, democracy, refugee protection and freedom of information. It is a legal ground for the U.S. government's financial support for radio stations on North Korea and appointment of a special envoy on the North's human rights issues.

"While the legacy of tyranny may have been passed to a new generation, the North Korean regime remains one of the world's worst human rights abusers. This bill will continue the important, bipartisan work of the North Korean Human Rights Act to promote human rights, refugee protection, and freedom of information for the people of North Korea," Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement.

She was referring to a recent power transfer from Kim Jong-il, who died of a heart attack in December, to his third son Kim Jong-un.

"A regime that maims its own people with impunity cannot be trusted to keep its agreements with foreigners. Thus, solving the North Korean human rights issue is also an integral part of addressing the North Korean security threat," she added.

The representative also accused China of forcefully repatriating North Korean defectors.

"Not surprisingly, China also does Pyongyang's dirty work, rounding up North Korean refugees and forcing them back to certain harm at the same time that it sits on the Executive Board of the U.N.'s refugee protection body," she said. /The Korea Times
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