Lawmaker Confident of NKHR Act Passage

Cho Jong Ik  |  2014-01-22 13:35
Deputy floor leader of South Koreas ruling Saenuri Party Yoon Sang Hyon has announced, At a meeting yesterday attended by the deputies of the opposing parties, it was agreed that the North Korean Human Rights Act will be passed (through the National Assembly in February).

The North Korean Human Rights Act seeks to improve human rights, political rights and the right to freedom. It includes the establishment of a special envoy (for North Korean human rights), a documents archive and a North Korean Human Rights Foundation, the lawmaker said at the National Assembly this morning.

While debate over the details of the act continues across the political spectrum, particularly in regard to the potential scope of governmental financial support, Yoon assessed that the Democratic party has seen a recent shift.

After pointing out that many North Korean human rights NGOs in the South receive financial support from the United States, he stated, The South Korean government is currently not able to provide support to these NGOs.  If (the law) was to have this clause deleted as the result of opposition from the Democratic Party, then the act would be nothing but a steamed bun without the beans.'"

Meanwhile, a Democratic Party insider told Daily NK, Items (for discussion) have been put on the table, and the Saenuri Party is giving positive signs that they will discuss these.  However, Nothing about the actual process has been determined yet, like whether or not there will be a vote.

The North Korean Human Rights Act has been languishing in the National Assembly since its initial introduction in 2005.  The issue has been receiving attention of late, following an announcement by incumbent Democratic Party chair Kim Han Gil on the 13th that, The Democratic Party, which holds democracy and human rights as its supreme values, is confronting the North Korean human rights issue.
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