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US: Addressing Human Rights Will Have Significant Impact On Ties With N. Korea

5/1/2012 11:40 PM ET

The United States has said it remains deeply concerned about the human rights situation in North Korea, including forced labor camps. Promoting human rights is a key component of our policy toward North Korea, and how Pyongyang addresses human rights will have a significant impact on the prospect for closer ties between the two countries, U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark C Toner said in response to a question at the daily press briefing on Tuesday..

Ambassador King, US Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues, had direct discussions on human rights issues with North Korean officials in Pyongyang in May 2011, including with First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan. Both Ambassador Bosworth and Ambassador Davies raised human rights issues in their capacity as Special Representative for North Korea Policy in each round of high-level bilateral talks.

In addition to raising these issues in face-to-face meetings, we highlight our specific concerns about human rights in North Korea in our annual human rights report, Toner told reporters. Through international organizations, including the UN General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council, we call attention to specific human rights violations and with our bilateral and multilateral partners, we continue to identify areas where we can improve human rights conditions on the ground in North Korea, he added.

by RTT Staff Writer

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