North Korean Human Rights Act Passes House of Representatives
Original Cosponsor Royce praises bill and Congressional action
May 15, 2012 -
Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4240, The North Korea Human Rights Reauthorization Act of 2012. As an original cosponsor of the bill, Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) praised the legislation:
"Perhaps nowhere else is a focus on human rights more needed than North Korea," said Royce. "This legislation not only brings much needed attention to the plight of the North Korean people, but it continues to emphasize broadcasting into North Korea as a way to shatter the illusion of a worker’s paradise propagated by the state- controlled media."
Motivated by the plight of North Koreans both inside North Korea and as refugees, the Foreign Affairs Committee has taken a leading role in the cause of North Korean human rights. The Committee has held numerous hearings and briefings on the subject.
"Frankly, not enough attention can be given to horrific suffering of the North Korean people. North Koreans are the most politically repressed in the world. Worse, 200,000 are doomed in gulags where, plain and simple, they're treated like animals. I only wish the Administration shared this concern. Congress’ push on human rights in North Korea has helped spur some Administration actions – but we must push even harder.
"Peace and stability will come only with a new North Korean government. Yes, the Kim family dynasty has survived over 70 years, two successions. But it's losing its information monopoly, defectors report. Control over North Korean minds is weakening. A human rights push would help this along," said Royce.
Royce was an original cosponsor of H.R. 4011, The North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004. The legislation passed by the House Foreign Affairs Committee continues the focus of this important bill. Its provisions include efforts to bolster radio broadcasting, support for human rights and democracy programs, and a reappointment of the Special Envoy on North Korean Human Rights.
Ed Royce is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. He is co-chair of the Congressional Korea Caucus and chairman of the International Parliamentarians Coalition for North Korean Refugees and Human Rights.