South Korea Helps North Korean Defectors in New Human Rights Bill

By Sarah Akbar

South Korean lawmakers have finally passed the North Korea Human Rights Act after 11 years, which would help defectors send movies and books into North Korea and will establish an official center to collect and publish records of North Korea’s human rights abuses. The law’s passage marks a dramatic shift from North Korea’s previous emphasis on the “Sunshine Policy”—of economic and aid projects—and towards a more vigilant and aggressive policy. The shift may have something to do with the recent launch of North Korea’s most aggressive nuclear tests and increased sanctions by the EU. The Act is vindication for many defectors who send anti-North Korea leaflets across the border and who have been urging for more monitoring of the Kim regime’s human rights atrocities.