House Approves Ros-Lehtinen’s North Korea Human Rights Bill, Sending to President’s Desk

Jun 27, 2018

House Approves Ros-Lehtinen’s North Korea Human Rights Bill, Sending to President’s Desk

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman Emeritus of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, made the following statement today after the House of Representatives approved her bill, H.R. 2061, the North Korean Human Rights Reauthorization Act of 2017, by unanimous consent after it was amended and passed in the Senate, sending it to the President’s desk to be signed into law. Introduced alongside U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the Ranking Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and U.S. Reps. Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Brad Sherman (D-CA), the respective Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, H.R. 2061 was first approved by the House on September 25, 2017 and by the Senate on April 24, 2018.

Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

“The Kim regime’s despicable treatment of the North Korean people should not and must not be ignored. North Koreans suffer from some of the worst human rights abuses imaginable, including the starvation and torture of political opponents, and this brutal and dangerous behavior must be taken into account during any negotiation. In its pursuit of a landmark deal with Pyongyang, the administration may allow human rights to fall on the priority list, but with Congress sending this bill to the President’s desk, we have demonstrated that we will not allow human rights conditions in North Korea to go ignored. Congress has a long history of shining a light on North Korean abuses and promoting the work of human rights in that nation. These issues must not ignored or dealt with separately and any deal that is reached must include a substantial human rights component.”

NOTE: H.R. 2061, the North Korean Human Rights Reauthorization Act of 2017, will extend until 2022 the authorities of the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004, which were last reauthorized and strengthened in 2012 and 2008, laws also authored by Rep. Ros-Lehtinen. The Senate companion, S.1118, was introduced by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Chris Coons (D-DE). The bill continues current authorities for North Korea-focused activities to promote human rights and democracy, refugee protection, and freedom of information (including broadcasting), as well as a report by a U.S. Special Envoy on North Korean Human Rights Issues. It also continues reporting aimed at increasing transparency and accountability for any humanitarian assistance provided to North Korea.