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Date : August 20, 2012
The Extension of the US's North Korean Human Rights Act is Welcomed
   http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2012/08/113_117629.html [1807]
US President Barack Obama has recently signed in to legislation an extension of the 2004 North Korean Human Rights Act. This Act attempts to pressure the North Korean regime to reform its policies (or lack thereof) on democratic governance, refugee protection, human rights, and basic freedoms of speech.
 
The renewal of the Act was passed by the House of Representatives, and is welcomed by the ICNK to help keep pressure on the regime to reform. Even though the regime and the media has made a lot of noise about economic reforms recently, any economic reform must go hand in hand with vital democratic reforms.
 
 Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen stated, as the extension of the legislation was announced, that, “A regime that abuses its own people with impunity cannot be trusted to negotiate honestly with the outside world. Stifling basic freedoms with death camps and firing squads undermines the long term stability of North Korea."
 
The original Act was instigated by former President George W. Bush. The Act covers a wide range of US initiatives to encourage reform in North Korea: from making it easier to provide humanitarian from the US to North Korea to attempting to increase the amount of information available to people in North Korea. The Act’s intentions are necessary for political reform.

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