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The South Korean government has rejected a recommendation by its human rights commission to join an international protocol aimed at abolishing the death penalty.
The National Human Rights Commission(NHRC) said on Thursday it received official replies in February from the foreign and justice ministries, among others, explaining that at present they could not accept the recommendation.
The commission advised last September that South Korea accede to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which renounces the use of the death penalty.
According to the commission, the ministries notified that the recommendation should be reviewed in the mid to long-term and approached comprehensively, taking into account public opinion and sentiment on capital punishment.
The commission said it is considering making another recommendation on formal abolition and introduction of alternative punishments.
South Korea has not carried out an execution since December 1997, however, it has yet to officially abolish the death penalty.