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S. Korea rejects recommendation to join int'l protocol renouncing death penalty

All News 22:31 June 13, 2019

SEOUL, June 13 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean government has rejected a recommendation by its National Human Rights Commission to accede to an international protocol renouncing the use of the death penalty, according to the commission on Thursday.

Last year, the commission made the recommendation that South Korea join the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which aims to abolish the death penalty.

The government notified the commission in February this year that the recommendation needs to be reviewed in the mid and long-term because it should take into account public opinion and conditions at home and abroad, according to commission officials.

The commission plans to again recommend South Korea join the protocol after implementing appropriate procedures, a commission official said.

South Korea has a de facto moratorium on capital punishment. The country still issues the death penalty but has not carried out an execution since 1998, nor has it officially declared its discontinuance.

Still, South Korea is one of four members of the 36-nation Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that have not yet acceded to the protocol, along with the United States, Israel and Japan.

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