The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday unanimously approved an extension to the North Korean Human Rights Act that sees it run until 2017.
The North Korean Human Rights Act demands that North Korea improve the human rights of its people, as well as mandating the appointment of a special envoy for North Korean human rights issues and allowing for humanitarian assistance, the protection of defectors and funding for activities that help to marketize and democratize North Korea.
The North Korean Human Rights Act was first enacted in October, 2004 when former U.S. President George W. Bush was in office. It had already been extended once, for four years in 2008.
“Although the transition to the leadership of Kim Jong Eun after the death of Kim Jong Il has introduced new uncertainties and possibilities, the fundamental human rights and humanitarian conditions inside North Korea remains deplorable and North Korean refugees remain acutely vulnerable,” the text notes.
The bill is also likely to pass the Senate without major incident.
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