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Ambassador James R. Lilley and Congressman Stephen J. Solarz North Korea Human Rights Reauthorization Act of 2012

Floor Speech

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Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I rise in support of H.R. 4240, the Ambassador James R. Lilley and Congressman Stephen J. Solarz North Korea Human Rights Reauthorization Act of 2012. I would like to thank my coauthor and ranking member, my good friend, Mr. Berman, and the dozens of bipartisan cosponsors who have joined us to continue the important human rights work that Congress began 9 years ago.

The North Korean regime remains one of the world's worst human rights abusers as the legacy of tyranny has been passed on to a new generation.

South Korea's National Human Rights Commission detailed, in a 380-page report released earlier this month, that Kim Jong-Un maintains the same hellish gulag as his father and grandfather before him.

Hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children are forced into slave labor, starved, and tortured to death in isolated camps. Even outside the camps, the North Korean people enjoy no freedoms of speech, religion, press, or assembly.

Officials crush any dissent and have reportedly authorized the on-the-spot execution of those attempting to flee the country.

A regime that maims its own people with impunity, cannot be trusted to keep its agreements with foreigners. Thus, solving the North Korean human rights issue is also an integral part of addressing the North Korean security threat.

North Korean women and girls are brutalized and trafficked in China, where they are sold into forced marriage and sexual slavery. And China, which sits on the Executive Board of the U.N.'s Refugee Protection Body, continues to forcibly repatriate North Koreans into danger.

H.R. 4240, Mr. Speaker, will continue the important bipartisan work of the North Korean Human Rights Act by extending, until the year 2017, its authorities to promote human rights, refugee protection, and freedom of information for the people of North Korea.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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