North Korea is the most-closed nation in the world, and Christians living here are perpetually targeted for their faith. If labeled as a Christian, a person is in danger of being imprisoned, tortured and killed. Their families even come under threat for guilt by association.
Deep Concern Expressed Over Lack of Progress in North Korea Human Rights
Christian Post (02/23/06)
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The signing of the North Korean Human Rights Act in October 2004 was a landmark step in the advancement of human rights in North Korea , but congressmen and senators have deep concern over the unchanging situation for the people of North Korea
In a letter addressed to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Tuesday, members of congress said, “We are writing to express our deep concern for the lack of progress in funding and implementing the key provisions of the North Korean Human Rights Act.”
According to the North Korea Freedom Coalition, the letter was spurred on by the dramatic testimonies given by North Korean defectors at a hearing in October 2005.
A copy of a testimony delivered by human rights activist Tim Peters of Helping Hands Korea, a Christian mission in Seoul, alongside three other refugee women was enclosed with the letter to expose the unimproved situation for asylum seekers and the denied assistance for refugees seeking help at the United States Embassy in China, Vietnam and Thailand.
Cosigners of the letter urged “the State Department to play a leadership role in resolving this refugee crisis” by establishing a first asylum policy for North Koreans and calling China “at the highest levels” to end the repatriation of the defectors and jailing of humanitarian workers, which many times include Korean Christians and pastors.
The North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004 authorizes funding for programs to promote human rights and democracy in the oppressive regime, including funds to increase the availability of information sources not controlled by the North Korean government. At last year’s hearing, however, radio programs Voice of America and Radio Free Asia laid bare the continual difficulties of broadcasting to the people of North Korea and the lack of funding to expand their network and operations.
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