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Rep. Young Kim speaking in committee in a black blazer

Washington, DC – Today, as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the US-ROK alliance and welcome South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol to Washington, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Indo-Pacific Chairwoman Young Kim (CA-40) and Ranking Member Ami Bera (CA-06) introduced the North Korean Human Rights Reauthorization Act of 2023.

This bipartisan bill would reauthorize, update and improve the North Korean Human Rights Act, which became law in 2004 to promote human rights and freedom in North Korea.  

“Kim Jong-un oppresses the North Korean people through torture, imprisonment, forced labor, and starvation in his quest to expand North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and gain military power. These gross human rights abuses cannot be tolerated and cannot go unchecked,” said Representative Young Kim, Chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Indo-Pacific. “As an immigrant from South Korea with family members who fled North Korea, supporting the North Korean people is personal to me. I’m proud to introduce the North Korean Human Rights Reauthorization Act so the United States takes concrete steps to counter the North Korean regime, promote human rights for the people of North Korea, and lead the world as a beacon for hope, freedom, and democracy.” 

 “North Korea’s oppressive regime continues to commit heinous human rights abuses against its own people, including arbitrary detention, forced disappearance, torture, and restrictions on freedom of religion and belief,” said Representative Ami Bera, M.D., Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Indo-Pacific. “I am proud to reintroduce the bipartisan North Korea Human Rights Reauthorization Act, which reinforces and strengthens the United States’ commitment to promoting human rights in North Korea and holds the regime accountable for their continued abuses.”

Included in the North Korean Human Rights Act are initiatives Rep. Kim has worked on such as: 

  • Reuniting Korean American divided families with their war-torn loved ones;
  • Appointing a Special Envoy on North Korean Human Rights Issues;
  • Supporting U.S. Agency for Global Media’s broadcasting efforts to promote freedom of information in North Korea;
  • Ensuring the delivery and distribution of humanitarian aid goes to the people of North Korea and does not support military operations; and,
  • Working with the United Nation’s Refugee Agency to protect and resettle refugees from North Korea. 

Read the bill HERE.

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