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State Department submits report on strengthening information campaign against N. Korea

2016/09/08 05:29

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. government has submitted a report to Congress that lays out a strategy for strengthening efforts to help North Korean people get greater access to outside information, congressional sources said Wednesday.

The report is required under the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 that passed Congress in February as part of efforts to increase pressure on Pyongyang following its fourth nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch in February.

The State Department submitted the classified report to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week, sources said. The committees declined to make the report public, since it's classified.

But the sanctions law calls for the report to set forth "a detailed plan for making unrestricted, unmonitored, and inexpensive electronic mass communications available to the people of North Korea," which is believed to be referring to such devices as small radios, USB drives and DVDs.

The report is the latest in a series of measures by Washington to increase pressure on Pyongyang over its human rights record. In July, the U.S. imposed its first-ever sanctions on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for his role in the country's human rights violations.

North Korea is one of the world's most closed nations, with the autocratic communist regime in Pyongyang keeping a tight lid on outside information in an attempt to keep its people oblivious to how bad their leaders are.

Experts say sending outside information penetrating into the North would be one of the most effective ways to bring about changes in the totalitarian nation.

jschang@yna.co.kr

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