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S. Korean body to open exhibition hall on N. Korean human rights

2014/09/01 10:22

SEOUL, Sept. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's human rights watchdog said Monday it plans to open a permanent exhibition hall on North Korea's human rights conditions in an effort to raise public awareness about the issue.

The National Human Rights Commission of Korea said details of the plan have not yet been decided, but the exhibition hall would be used to collect and display materials regarding human rights conditions in North Korea as well as pictures, videos and testimonies regarding the livelihoods of North Koreans.

The commission plans to complete the installation by 2017. It would be the first exhibition hall on North Korean human rights to be installed by any local government organization.

"Awareness on North Korea's human rights problems is lower in South Korea than outside of the country. We need more publicity efforts so that people can view the North Korean human rights situation more objectively," a commission official said.

The opening of the exhibition hall may help prevent human rights violations in the North, he added.

International watchdogs allege there are widespread rights violations in North Korea, but Pyongyang has denied such allegations.

After ending its one-year investigation, the United Nations' Commission of Inquiry accused the North of "systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights" in its report in February.

In a follow-up step, the U.N. human rights council issued a resolution calling for efforts to improve human rights condition in the country while deciding to set up a U.N. field office in Seoul to continue its investigation into the matter.