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As US President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un at a two-day summit on February 27 – 28 to be held in Hanoi, Vietnam, Francisco Bencosme, advocacy manager for Asia Pacific at Amnesty International USA, issued the following statement:

“Over a year ago, President Trump stood in front of Congress and pledged to challenge North Korea’s human rights record. Since then, President Trump has repeatedly disregarded the human rights of the North Korean people to gain favor with Kim Jung-un. His silence in the face of relentless and grave human rights violations has been deafening.

“The people of North Korea have endured enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, forced labor in prison camps, a total absence of press freedom, severe restrictions on freedom of expression and movement, and decades of separation of families. But President Trump has turned his back on them for the sake of a photo-op.

“President Trump must finally appoint a North Korean Human Rights Envoy after two years of having the position lie vacant.  Both leaders must ensure that human rights are a focal point of this summit. No country is exempt from international law and their obligations to uphold human rights.”