U.S. House members seek to extend North Korea Human Rights Act

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 (UPI) — Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are calling for the extension of a North Korea human rights bill that was first introduced in 2004.

The North Korean Human Rights Act is set to expire in 2017 and has so far received two extensions, Yonhap reported on Wednesday.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., introduced legislation last week calling for an extension of the bill to 2022, 12 years after it was first signed into law during the George W. Bush Administration.

“So much attention has been focused on the five nuclear tests conducted by the Kim regime over the past 10 years, including two earlier this year, that it’s easy to forget just how evil and brutal the regime in North Korea has been to its own people,” Ros-Lehtinen stated.

The law has already been extended twice, once in 2008 and another time in 2012.

In 2012, as chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ros-Lehtinen played a leading role in securing the second extension, according to the report.

The legislation includes provisions for support of NGO work on North Korea human rights issues and assists organizations that are looking to increase information flows into North Korea.

“This bill will extend our current efforts to promote and protect human rights in North Korea and it will continue to shine a light on the injustices being perpetrated by the regime with the hopes of spreading stability, peace and freedom to the entire Korean peninsula,” Ros-Lehtinen said.

Reps. Eliot Engel, D-NY, Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., Brad Sherman, D-Calif., Steve Chabot, R-OH, and Albio Sires, D-NJ, co-sponsored the bill with Ros-Lehtinen.

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