South Korea plans to open a probe next year to determine if North Korea has infringed on the human rights of former South Korean soldiers, abduction victims and residents whose families are in the South, a government official said Monday.
The official at the Center for North Korean Human Rights Records, a body established under the Unification Ministry dealing with inter-Korean affairs, said the center is implementing a pilot project to look into human rights-related issues involving former South Korean soldiers who were captured during the 1950-53 Korean War, South Korean residents abducted to the North and North Korean residents living separated across the border since the three-year conflict.
This undated image shows the nameplate of the Center for North Korean Human Rights Records set up under the Unification Ministry. (Yonhap)
Under the envisaged probe, the center is expected to find out whether they were tortured or suffered discrimination in joining the ruling Labor Party and choosing jobs because of their status.
The probe could be done with former South Korean soldiers and residents, or their families who have defected to the South, the official said.
The center also plans to put under the probe any discrimination against the North's separated families whose kin has crossed into the South during the war.
Established in September last year, the center is tasked with researching and studying the status of North Korean residents' human rights.
It has carried out the research through North Korean defectors at Hanawon, a resettlement center meant to help North Korean defectors adjust to life in South Korea. (Yonhap)