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S. Korea allocates 15.2 bln won in budget for next year over N.K. human rights

All Headlines 14:22 September 01, 2016

SEOUL, Sept. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will allocate 15.2 billion won (US$13.6 million) of its 2017 budget to implement a new law aimed at improving North Korea's human rights situation, government officials said Thursday.

Next year's budget allocated for Seoul's unification ministry stands at 1.25 trillion won including some 1 trillion won worth set aside for the state inter-Korean cooperation fund, according to the ministry.

The ministry said that the government will newly allocate money to projects aimed at improving North Korea's grave human rights abuses as the relevant law will go into effect this month.

Under the law, South Korea plans to establish an archive aimed at compiling the North's human rights abuses and setting up a foundation to support relevant civic groups.

The ministry said it will spend 13.4 billion won on operating the foundation which will be established with 42 staff members in September.

Strained inter-Korean ties led the government to curtail next year's spending on inter-Korean exchanges and reconciliation projects.

Reflecting this, the size of the inter-Korean cooperation fund earmarked for next year represents a 20.2 percent decrease from 2016, it said.

South Korea set up the fund in 1991 in order to facilitate inter-Korean exchanges and economic cooperation. Since 2008, the yearly size of the fund has been maintained at near 1 trillion won.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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