On May 23, 2012 South Korea’s President Lee Myung-Bak said that North Korea's human rights abuses should be dealt with more urgently than its nuclear or missile programmes. President Lee Myung-Bak made this comment when he met a group of US lawmakers including Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
"As to the North Korean issue, the human rights issue is no less important than nuclear tests or missile launches," the president was quoted as saying. "The issue of human rights for the North Korean people should rather be dealt with more urgently (than tests or launches)," he said.
The US delegation promised that Congress will work more actively to improve the North's human rights, according to the presidential spokeswoman Lee Miyon.
Ros-Lehtinen and five other Congress members arrived in Seoul Tuesday for a four-day visit that includes talks with the president and Unification Minister Yu Woo-Ik as well as a trip to the border with the North.