KOREA NEWS Diplomats of S. Korea, U.S. discuss N.K. spy satellite,...

Diplomats of S. Korea, U.S. discuss N.K. spy satellite, human rights

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SEOUL, Dec. 15 (Yonhap) — South Korean and U.S. officials discussed North Korea’s threats and its recent publication of its so-called human rights white paper, Seoul’s foreign ministry said Friday.

Chun Young-hee, director general for the Korean Peninsula peace regime, exchanged views on these developments with Jung Pak, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, during a meeting Wednesday, the ministry said.

They both expressed concerns that the North has been ratcheting up tensions against the South since the launch of its military reconnaissance satellite last month.

They reemphasized their commitment to close coordination to manage the situation on the Korean Peninsula in a stable manner, the ministry said.

Chun also voiced concern that North Korea is using the human rights issue to propagate its nuclear and missile agendas.

North Korea claimed its people are freely enjoying genuine human rights in a white paper issued earlier this week on the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations.

North Korea also said it could concentrate its efforts on economic development and improvement of the people’s living standard thanks to its powerful deterrence for self-defense, in an apparent reference to its nuclear and missile programs.

North Korea has long been accused of grave human rights abuses, ranging from holding political prisoners in concentration camps to committing torture and carrying out public executions.

The U.N. Commission of Inquiry issued a report in 2014 after a year-long probe, saying North Korean leaders are responsible for “widespread, systematic and gross” violations of human rights.

Chun Young-hee (R), director general for the Korean Peninsula peace regime at Seoul’s foreign ministry, shakes hands with Jung Pak, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, ahead of their meeting in Seoul on Dec. 13, 2023, in this photo provided by the foreign ministry. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

elly@yna.co.kr
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