The U.S. has vowed to continuously work with the international community to improve the human rights situation in North Korea.
U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller revealed Washington’s pledge in a statement released on Sunday, the first day of the 20th annual North Korea Freedom Week.
The statement said that with the observation of the week, the U.S. recognizes the courage of the North Korean defector and human rights communities.
It then said that Pyongyang “continues to exploit its own citizens, including through mass mobilizations of school children and forced labor, and divert resources that could benefit them to build up its unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs.”
Washington said it remains deeply concerned about the plight of North Korean asylum seekers, including some two-thousand detained in China who are at the risk of forced repatriation.
The statement stressed the need for the international community to seek accountability for those responsible for the North’s human rights violations and abuses, saying that the issue remains a priority for Washington.
The North Korea Freedom Week was first organized by the North Korea Freedom Coalition, a nonpartisan group in the US, in 2004 to encourage the enactment of a law seeking the improvement of human rights conditions in the isolated state.