Human rights chief wraps up visit to South Korea

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Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The human rights situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is now firmly on the international agenda, according to UN Human Rights chief.

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein was speaking on Thursday in Seoul, capital of South Korea.

He was ending a three-day mission to the country during which he inaugurated a UN office that will monitor human rights in the DPRK.

Dianne Penn reports.

The office was established following recommendations made last year by a Commission of Inquiry on human rights in the DPRK.

The High Commissioner said thanks to its work, this issue is now firmly on the international agenda.

He added that the North Korean government is making more effort to engage in the international human rights system, which he hopes will continue.

While in Seoul, Mr Al Hussein also met with senior government officials and South Korean civil society groups, who raised concerns about freedom of expression and assembly, including related to the Internet.

The Human Rights High Commissioner also visited with three women, former victims of sexual slavery during the Second World War, who were forced to service Japanese occupying forces.

He said despite steps taken by Japan over the years, these so-called "comfort women" do not feel their suffering has been adequately and universally recognized.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 58″

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