Bush Center highlights North Korean human rights abuses after summit

The George W. Bush Presidential Center is tweeting out coverage and analysis of human rights abuses in North Korea, just one day after President Trump’s historic summit with the country’s leader on Tuesday.

The center has shared older posts on the human rights violations as well as pieces arguing for human rights to be included in future talks with North Korea.

Asked about the posts, a spokesperson for the Bush Center told The Hill that it was “simply sharing content that we work on every day within our Human Freedom Initiative.”

The spokesperson did not directly respond to an emailed question about whether the center was advocating for Trump to raise the human rights issues with North Korean leaders, or whether the former president or his office had any involvement in the decision to highlight the issue. 

One of the pieces promoted on Tuesday is a Bush Center interview with North Korean dissident and author Kang Chol-Hwan, who escaped from the country after spending 10 years in a prison camp.


The center has also shared a video by the Bush Institute Deputy Director of Human Freedom Lindsay Lloyd advocating for the U.S. to raise the human rights abuses in future talks with North Korea.




The center houses an initiative on Human Freedom, which participates in advocacy on human rights in North Korea.

“By almost any measure, North Korea is the worst place on earth,” the initiative’s website states. “They are subjected to widespread human rights violations, including executions, torture, and detention, and denied fundamental rights like free expression, association, assembly, and religion.”

After his summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, Trump said at a press conference that the pair discussed human rights abuses at a “pretty good length” and will continue the talks.

The president condemned North Korea’s human rights record in his State of the Union address earlier this year.

“No regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea. North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland,” Trump said in the speech. “We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and our allies.”

But he appeared to downplay the issue on Tuesday.  

“I believe it’s a rough situation over there,” Trump said of human rights abuses. “It’s rough in a lot of places, by the way, not just there.” 

Former President George W. Bush has previously spoken out about North Korea’s human rights record, and signed the North Korean Human Rights Act into law in 2004, which provides humanitarian aid within the country.

Tags Bush Center Donald Trump George W. Bush Human rights North Korea

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