Ros-Lehtinen’s North Korea Human Rights Bill Signed into Law

Jul 23, 2018

Ros-Lehtinen’s North Korea Human Rights Bill Signed into Law

“With this law, Congress has sent a strong message that human rights must be an integral part of our overall security strategy toward North Korea and a significant part of the administration’s negotiations with the North Korean regime.”

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman Emeritus of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, made the following statement on the President’s signing into law H.R. 2061, the North Korean Human Rights Reauthorization Act of 2017, which she authored. Ros-Lehtinen authored the bill 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. A similar version, S.1118, was introduced in the Senate 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).

Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

“With this law, Congress has sent a strong message that human rights must be an integral part of our overall security strategy toward North Korea and a significant part of the administration’s negotiations with the North Korean regime. I urge the President to implement fully and vigorously all aspects of this bill. The Kim regime’s repressive behavior is not only dangerous and immoral but demonstrates its untrustworthiness as a negotiating partner. This law provides essential tools to allow the administration to promote North Korean human rights and, as we have shown since the North Korean Human Rights Act was first enacted in 2004, Congress will continue to perform its necessary oversight role and ensure the law’s full implementation.”

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 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.