Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s East Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee and a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, this week met with human rights advocates while on an official visit to South Korea.
On Friday, Rubio visited with Shin Dong-hyuk, a human rights activist who is the only known person to have been born in a North Korean prison camp, spent his entire life imprisoned, escaped and lived to tell the story. He was born in 1982 and escaped in 2005.
On Saturday, Rubio met with other human rights activists and non-governmental organizations (NGO) based in South Korea to discuss ways to raise international awareness about the repressive regime in North Korea.
“Being raised in and representing a community of Cuban exiles, I have friends, constituents and visitors to my office who know what oppression is because of their experiences as political prisoners in Castro’s gulags,” said Rubio. “Hearing firsthand accounts of the human rights violations that occur in North Korea affected me on a personal level.
“Shin Dong-hyuk’s story was especially impactful, as it reveals to the world how the North Korean regime not only tries to break individuals’ spirits but also destroys families with its cruel tactics,” Rubio added. “Kim Jong-un’s complete disregard for human rights and people’s dignity is unacceptable, and a shameful inheritance from his father and grandfather.
“As democratic nations, we have a moral responsibility to forge lasting and meaningful relationships, bound by values of individual liberty and peace, that put ending such atrocities at the top of our shared agenda,” Rubio said.
In addition to activities on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, more trip updates can be found at @MarcoRubio, Rubio’s personal Twitter account. Below are photos from Rubio’s visits with human rights activists (the pictures can be viewed in higher quality here):
Rubio visits with Shin Dong-hyuk, a North Korean activist and prison camp survivor:
Rubio has a lunch meeting with representatives from North Korean non-governmental organizations:
Note: all photos can be credited to the office of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio.