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Trump's 'appalling' Kim summit slammed by rights advocate

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A human rights expert has called Donald Trump's meeting with Kim Jong-un "absolutely appalling".

A human rights advocate has slammed how US President Donald Trump handled his historic meeting with North Korean Kim Jong-un on Tuesday.

Deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Asia division Phil Robertson criticised Mr Trump for putting little or no emphasis on the human rights of North Koreans.

Mr Robertson said Kim was "as repressive or worse than his father" and implored the US not to forget about the "gulags ... and forced labour" that is commonplace in the country.

"The North Korean people have suffered so much for so long and for them to see the president praise Kim Jong-un as a terrific guy and then even go further and say the North Korean people love Kim Jong-un .. It's absolutely appalling," he told SBS News.

"Everybody wants to get out of North Korea ... Trump doesn't realise that if you brought down the barriers at the North Korean-China border and told the Chinese to stop chasing North Koreans, you'd probably have 100,000 people leave in a week."

Mr Robertson was particularly dismayed that the human rights situation of North Koreans did not make it into the final statement the two leaders signed.

Phil Robertson talks to SBS News.
Phil Robertson talks to SBS News.
SBS News

"The US basically walked away from human rights," he said.

He said that Kim will use any gains from reintegrating with the international community to "bolster his power, not necessarily to empower the people".

Trump and Kim met in Singapore on Tuesday. The unprecedented encounter saw the leader of the world's most powerful democracy shake hands with the third generation scion of a dynastic dictatorship, standing as equals in front of their nations' flags.

Kim agreed to the "complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula", a stock phrase favoured by Pyongyang that stopped short of long-standing US demands for North Korea to give up its atomic arsenal in a "verifiable" and "irreversible" way.

Additional reporting: AFP

 

Source: SBS

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