North Korea's state media said Tuesday that the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004 (HR 4011), approved by the US House of Representatives Monday and now ready for President Bush's signature, shows that the US is "hell bent" on destroying North Korea and makes the six-party talks on ending North Korea's nuclear ambitions meaningless. The US legislation urges North Korea to better protect human rights and provides US funds to help refugees who have fled the country.
Despite the North Korean reaction, South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun has said that he still believes a peaceful settlement will be found. Read the KCNA report from Pyongyang and more from Reuters. VOA News covers Roh's reaction here. The US State Department has posted the text of remarks supporting the act made on the House floor yesterday by Rep. James Leach, chair of the House International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.