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S. Korea to hold first policy meeting over N.K. human rights this week

All News 11:28 October 10, 2016

SEOUL, Oct. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's unification ministry said Monday it plans to hold its first policy meeting on North Korea's human rights with other ministries this week to discuss ways to get Pyongyang to change the way it treats people.

Vice Unification Minister Kim Hyung-suk will host the consultations with senior officials from Seoul's foreign and justice ministries Tuesday to discuss Seoul's policy on North Korea's human rights.

The move comes as a new law aimed at improving North Korea's dismal rights situation went into effect last month in a bid to zero in on the North Korean regime's crimes against humanity.

"The consultations will call for policy coordination over the improvement of North Korea's human rights situation and discussions over how to document abuse cases and exchange relevant information," Jeong Joon-hee, a ministry spokesman, told a regular press briefing.

Under the law, Seoul set up a center to investigate and compile human rights abuses in late September. It is also seeking to establish a foundation to support relevant civic groups.

North Korea has long been labeled one of the worst human rights violators in the world. Pyongyang has bristled at such criticism, calling it a U.S.-led attempt to topple its regime.

Upon arrival in Seoul, Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters on Saturday that the international community will seek to "shine the world spotlight on the worst crimes," perpetrated by the North's regime.


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