N. Korea ‘faithfully implementing’ summit agreement, demands South scrap human rights act

by WorldTribune Staff, June 24, 2018

The Kim Jong-Un regime vowed to implement the Singapore summit agreement as it prepared to repatriate the remains of American troops killed during the Korean War in 1950-53, the North Korean state media claimed. The same official media also demanded that its brother nation to the South, a staunch U.S. ally, eliminate a human rights act which brought heavy international condemnation of the North’s horrific record.

In this May 14, 1999, file photo, UN honor guards carry a coffin containing the remains of an American soldier returned from North Korea at the border village of Panmunjom, South Korea. / AP

“By faithfully implementing the joint statement that North Korea and the U.S. have announced, we will conscientiously fulfill our responsibility to address decades-long tensions and hostile relations, and open a new era of North-U.S. cooperation,” said Uriminzokkiri, a North Korean propaganda website.

The repatriation is part of the June 12 agreement between U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim, which also included establishing “new” bilateral relations and making joint efforts to build a “lasting and stable” peace regime on the peninsula, Yonhap reported on June 24.

Related: Trump hits North Korea where it hurts, meets defectors at White House, Feb. 2, 2018

On June 23, the U.S. military moved 100 wooden “temporary transit cases” to the inter-Korean border to receive the remains of the soldiers.

Earlier this month, Trump pledged to indefinitely halt U.S.-South Korea combined military exercises, which he called “provocative, expensive and inappropriate.”

But the North’s state media has also demanded South Korea’s human rights act and a foundation dedicated to its enforcement be abolished, arguing they only hamper efforts to improve cross-border ties.

“The North Korean human rights act, which the cohorts of (former President) Park Geun-Hye manipulated, must be abolished, while the North Korean human rights foundation, an institution designed to plot against our republic, ought to be buried away,” said the Uriminzokkiri site.

Park was ousted in a bitter, populist campaign fueled by leftist opposition leader Moon Jae-In and South Korean media. She was impeached and imprisoned, and Moon succeeded her as president.

The South’s human rights act went into force in September 2016, but has yet to be formally launched due to a delay in the parliamentary process to recommend candidates for its board members, the Yonhap report said.

Touching on Seoul’s efforts to launch the foundation, the Uriminzokkiri website said the South Korean authorities are not prepared to respond to the “shifting circumstances and public sentiment. Any attempt at maintaining confrontational remnants of the conservative cliques will do more harm than good in light of the current trends of the North-South relationship.”

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