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Seoul to set up N. Korean human rights foundation

All News 10:44 July 25, 2016

SEOUL, July 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will establish a foundation in September to better study human rights situations in North Korea and develop related policies, the unification ministry said Monday.

The government plans to inject about 25 billion won (US$22 million) annually into the 50-member foundation under the North Korean Human Rights Act, which is set to take effect Sept. 4 and designed to improve human rights abuses in the reclusive country, according to the ministry in charge of Seoul's Pyongyang policy.

"We are in discussions with the Ministry of Strategy and Finance on the exact size of the annual budget for the foundation," a ministry source said, adding the North Korean Human Rights Foundation will also support nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) when it comes to North Korean human rights issues.

At stake is whether the foundation could give financial support to NGOs in third countries, which protect North Korean defectors, he said.

The United States and Japan already adopted the same law in 2004 and 2006, respectively.

Under the new law, a center that compiles data on the North's human rights abuses will be established in the ministry. An archive center also will be established under the Ministry of Justice to collect interviews with North Korean defectors and update documents on the North's human rights violations every three months, the official said.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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