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S. Korea to conduct survey on N.K. defectors to compile human rights abuses

All Headlines 11:46 November 28, 2016

SEOUL, Nov. 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korea plans to conduct a pilot survey on North Korean defectors at a resettlement facility this week to compile information on Pyongyang's human rights abuses, a government official said Monday.

South Korea plans to carry out face-to-face interviews with 10 North Korean defectors who are undergoing resettlement education at Hanawon in Anseong, south of Seoul, on Tuesday, according to the Ministry of Unification.

The move is part of efforts to investigate and compile the North's human rights-related violations as a new South Korean law aimed at improving Pyongyang's situation went into effect in early September.

"The latest move is designed to assess the validity of questionnaires as Seoul is set to investigate the North's human rights abuses in a full-fledged manner," Jeong Joon-hee, a ministry spokesman said at a regular press briefing.

S. Korea to conduct survey on N.K. defectors to compile human rights abuses - 1

In late September, Seoul set up the Center for North Korean Human Rights Records, a new agency aimed at documenting Pyongyang's crimes against humanity.

The ministry said that the agency will finalize questionnaires based on the pilot survey and plans to investigate all incoming North Korean defectors to document such cases starting in December.

Suh Doo-hyun, the new president at the center, told Yonhap News Agency in September that his agency will focus on producing "credible" data and is considering a move to probe North Korea's labor export practices.

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.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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