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Seoul Regrets UN Human Rights Rapporteur's Statement on Anti-Leaflet Law

Written: 2020-12-17 19:25:22Updated: 2020-12-17 19:31:57

Seoul Regrets UN Human Rights Rapporteur's Statement on Anti-Leaflet Law

Photo : YONHAP News

The Unification Ministry has expressed regret over advice by a UN special rapporteur on North Korean human rights that Seoul reconsider the planned implementation of a new law which bans anti-Pyongyang leaflet campaigns

A senior official of the ministry relayed the stance in a statement on Thursday saying the National Assembly, which represents the public’s will, revised the law through constitutional and legal procedures and democratic discussions and deliberations. 

In a statement sent to Radio Free Asia on Wednesday, Tomas Ojea Quintana argued the revision gravely restricts activities by many defectors and civic groups seeking to get involved with North Koreans. He then advised reconsideration of the law by a democratic organization and through appropriate procedures. 

The Seoul official requested a “balanced” viewpoint from Quintana, saying the new law minimizes its restrictions on expressions by a small number of people in order to protect the lives and safety of a larger number of people living in border areas. 

South Korean Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Choi Young-sam echoed the view in a regular media briefing on Thursday, saying the country guarantees freedom of expression as much as possible, but certain limitation can be imposed on the leaflet campaign issue for the public’s safety. 

Choi ensured, however, that the government will continue discussions with Quintana and the international community.

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