Washington D.C., Jul 18, 2013 / 01:09 am
In spite of international attention on North Korea’s restrictive political regime, a top member of the Congressional human rights commission critiqued the Obama administration, saying it has not done enough to protect human rights in the country.
“A new North Korea framework is long overdue. Ignoring or downplaying the human rights situation for one more day is unconscionable,” said Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Va.)
The congressman is the so-chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. Wolf’s comments were given and submitted to the Congressional Record on July 17 in Washington, D.C.
The release of the comments coincided with the first Korean-American Meetup on Capitol Hill, in which members of the Korean-American community were able to discuss policy initiatives with Congressional representatives.
Wolf said that he hoped that “the abysmal human rights situation in North Korea will feature prominently among these policy priorities” discussed at the event.
The Department of State’s 2012 Human Rights Report found that The Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea exhibited a lack of “respect for civil liberties” and a denial of “respect for the dignity of the person.”
These human rights abuses were demonstrated in a variety of abuses such as religious persecution, wrongful imprisonment and killing, disappearances, lack of fair trials, severe restrictions on freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and no ability for the country’s citizens to change their government.
Similar findings were described by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s 2013 report and the U.S. International Religious Freedom Report for 2012, which both listed the country as a “Country of Particular Concern,” as well as other non-profit human rights groups.