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Opposition party lawmakers call for implementation of N.K. human rights law

All News 17:19 March 15, 2021

SEOUL, March 15 (Yonhap) -- Lawmakers from the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) made a protest visit to the unification ministry on Monday to call for greater efforts to achieve tangible improvement in North Korea's human rights situation.

In their meeting with Minister Lee In-young, four opposition lawmakers called for the expedited implementation of the North Korean Human Rights Act, which passed the National Assembly in 2016. Among the lawmakers was Thae Yong-ho, a former No. 2 diplomat at the North's Embassy in London.

"The government must stop walking on eggshells not to upset the North Korean regime and must properly implement the North Korean Human Rights Act to improve the human rights situation of ordinary North Koreans as soon as possible," Thae told reporters before the meeting.

The lawmakers also protested against the delayed launch of a state-run North Korean human rights foundation.

The North Korean Human Rights Act stipulates the establishment of a human rights foundation that allows Seoul to keep a record of abuses in the North, but its launch has been delayed amid political differences in appointing board members.

Rep. Thae Yong-ho (2nd from L), a former London-based North Korean diplomat who defected to South Korea with his family in 2016, and other lawmakers of the main opposition People Power Party hold a news conference in the lobby of the government complex in Seoul on March 15, 2021, during a visit to Unification Minister Lee In-young to protest the delay of the launch of a state-run North Korean human rights foundation. (Yonhap)

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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