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Apr 30, 2023 | In The News

Two U.S. lawmakers have introduced a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the North Korean Human Rights Act, which expired in September 2022.

Young Kim (R-CA), the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Indo-Pacific, and Ami Bera (D-CA), a ranking member, introduced the bill Friday to reauthorize, update and improve the law, which was enacted in 2004 to promote human rights and freedom in North Korea, Kim said.

“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,” the Korean American lawmaker said in a press release.

“These gross human rights abuses cannot be tolerated and cannot go unchecked,” she added.

Kim emphasized the bill’s introduction came at a time when South Korea and the United States were celebrating the 70th anniversary of their alliance and President Yoon Suk Yeol was visiting the U.S.

The North Korean Human Rights Act includes initiatives to reunite Korean American divided families with their war-torn loved ones, appoint a special envoy on North Korean human rights issues, support the U.S. Agency for Global Media’s broadcasting efforts to promote freedom of information in North Korea, and ensure the delivery and distribution of humanitarian aid goes to the people of North Korea.

Last month, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) also introduced a bill to extend the act for another five years. (Yonhap)

The Korea Times

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