중앙데일리

U.S. is funding 2 Korean anti-North groups

June 26,2003
The U.S. government said Monday that it has been funding South Korean activist groups to raise international awareness about human-rights abuse in North Korea.
The U.S. Department of State released a report, “Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2002-2003,” listing its activities to end human-rights abuses around the world. The report is separate from the department’s annual report on human-rights practices in other countries.
The U.S. government provided the National Endowment for Democracy, a private U.S.-based nonprofit organization, with $250,000 for sub-grants to two South Korean nongovernmental groups, “to support monitoring and reporting on human-rights conditions in North Korea.”
“We have received the funding since 1999,” Kim Yeong-ja, secretary general of the Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights, said yesterday. “We have held international seminars to raise the world’s awareness about the severe rights condition in the North.” Ms. Kim added that her organization also received funding from Korean contributors.
An official of the Network for North Korean Democracy and Human Rights said his organization received about $40,000 a year from the U.S. donor. “We use the funding for our monthly newsletter, ‘Keys’,” he said. “We publish Korean, English and Japanese-language versions and circulate them to governments, libraries, policymakers and media.” The newsletter provides monthly updates of North Korean rights conditions and reports about North Korean defectors.
“U.S. officials urge other countries to condition bilateral relations with North Korea on concrete, verifiable and sustained improvements in human rights,” the report said.
Washington is trying to stop the forcible repatriation by China of North Korean refugees, the report said. Lorne Craner, assistant secretary for democracy, human rights and labor, and the U.S. Embassy in Beijing have raised the concern to Beijing.


by Ser Myo-ja


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