North Korea human rights 'more important'
23 May 2012, 09:39
Seoul - North Korea's human rights abuses should be
dealt with more urgently than its nuclear or missile programmes, South
Korean President Lee Myung-Bak said on Wednesday.
Lee made the
comment when he met a group of US lawmakers including Representative
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee,
said presidential spokesperson Lee Miyon.
"As to the North Korean
issue, the human rights issue is no less important than nuclear tests
or missile launches," the president was quoted as saying.
issue of human rights for the North Korean people should rather be dealt
with more urgently [than tests or launches]," he said.
delegation promised that Congress will work more actively to improve the
North's human rights, according to the representative.
and five other Congress members arrived in Seoul on Tuesday for a
four-day visit that includes talks with the president and Unification
Minister Yu Woo-Ik as well as a trip to the border with the North.
has been outspoken against the North, initiating a series of bills
aimed at putting it back on a US list of state sponsors of terrorism and
improving human rights.
Their visit came amid lingering concern
that Pyongyang could carry out a third nuclear test, after it lost face
with a failed long-range rocket launch.
On Tuesday it vowed to
bolster nuclear deterrent capabilities and take "self-defence" measures
as long as the US continues what it called a hostile policy.
UN Nations Security Council strongly condemned the 13 April launch as
breaching a ban on testing ballistic missile technology, and tightened