Ruling party urges main opposition to cooperate with launch of N.K. human rights foundation

SEOUL– Lawmakers of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) on Friday called for the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) to cooperate with the launch of a North Korean human rights foundation, after the passage of a United Nations’ resolution calling for international efforts to improve human rights conditions in the North.

Earlier Friday, the U.N. General Assembly adopted the resolution for the 18th consecutive year.

The resolution, sponsored by the European Union, expresses concerns over dire human rights conditions in North Korea and what it calls illegal detention, torture and execution of foreign nationals in the country.

The resolution, co-sponsored by South Korea for the first time in four years, calls on Pyongyang to immediately release all related information to the families and countries of foreign nationals detained in the North.

The PPP members of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee said the Yoon Suk-yeol government’s co-sponsorship of the resolution helped South Korea clear the “disgrace” of being a country neglecting human rights, referring to the previous Moon Jae-in administration’s attempt to curry favor with Pyongyang.

The lawmakers also called on the DP to cooperate with the launch of the North Korean human rights foundation in accordance with a law legislated almost seven years ago.

Under the North Korean Human Rights Act, which passed the National Assembly in 2016, the rival parties are each required to recommend five candidates for a 12-member board committee to establish a North Korean human rights foundation.

The establishment has been delayed for years as the DP has yet to recommend its share of members.

“As South Korea has become a co-sponsor of the U.N. resolution for North Korean human rights, we urge the DP to stop looking away,” the PPP lawmakers said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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