WASHINGTON, May 16 (Yonhap) — Two U.S. senators have introduced a bill to reauthorize North Korea’s 2004 human rights law that requires U.S. assistance and efforts to help improve humanitarian conditions in North Korea, lawmakers said Monday.

North Korea’s so-called Human Rights Reauthorization Act of 2022 was filed last week by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).

“While Pyongyang continues to disregard the dignity of its citizens and show no tolerance for human rights, I am proud to introduce legislation to re-allow North Korea’s human rights law. man,” Rubio said, according to a press release posted on his website.

“As a beacon of democracy, the United States must do everything possible to support the cause of human rights and help those fleeing the Kim regime,” he added, referring to the regime. Kim Jong-un’s North Korean.

The bill, if passed, would reauthorize North Korea’s 2004 Human Rights Act, which is due to expire in September, for five years.

Rubio successfully led efforts to reauthorize North Korea’s human rights law in 2018, according to his office.

If passed, the reauthorization law “would reauthorize humanitarian assistance, democracy programming and broadcasting through 2027,” he said.

It would also “amend the North Korean Sanctions and Policy Act of 2016 to impose sanctions on Chinese and Russian officials responsible for forcibly repatriating North Koreans to North Korea,” he added.

The US administration was required under a 2004 law to appoint a special envoy for human rights in North Korea, but the post has been vacant since 2017.

Rubio’s office said the reauthorization law, if passed, “would require a report from the administration, within 180 days, on progress toward appointing a special human rights envoy. in North Korea”.

A similar bill to reauthorize the 2004 law was introduced in the House of Representatives earlier this year by Rep. Young Kim (R-CA).