MOFA Spokesperson’s Commentary on the US Expansion of its Blacklist of Human Rights Abusers in North Korea

1. The Government of the Republic of Korea welcomes the US expansion on January 11, US time, of its blacklist of human rights abusers in North Korea as well as its release of a relevant report pursuant to the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 (H.R. 757).

2. By taking the measure, which came after the first-ever package of sanctions imposed by the US in July 2016, including a blacklist, over the North Korean human rights issue, the US is seen to have reaffirmed that North Korea's human rights issue will be one of the major factors in the US policy toward the North.

3. The measure is expected to raise international awareness on the grave human rights situation in North Korea, as manifested in distortions of the human rights situation, censorship activities and forced labor in the North. It is also expected to greatly help intensify international discussions and encourage concrete actions with regard to the issue.

4. The Government of the Republic of Korea strongly urges North Korea to meet the international community's call to improve its serious human rights situation as soon as possible in accordance with relevant UN General Assembly resolutions and Security Council Resolution 2321. The ROK government, on its part, will continue taking an active part in various efforts of the international community to improve the human rights situation in the North.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of Korea

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