HUMAN RIGHTS/NORTH KOREA/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “A U.S. State Department spokeswoman declined to say whether human rights abuses were on the agenda of meetings with North Korea, despite criticism by successive administrations and a U.S. government report on Tuesday that described Pyongyang as running a system of prison labor camps…Any summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would chiefly focus on Pyongyang’s nuclear programs, Nauert said. While the United States has long criticized North Korea for rights abuses, a possible meeting in Singapore on June 12 would be the first opportunity for a sitting U.S. president to directly raise the issue with the North Koreans…While talks are expected to focus mainly on North Korea’s denuclearization and its security, the United Nations and other groups have urged the United States not to neglect human rights. Human rights abuses in North Korea, including violations of religious freedom, are a ‘matter of discussion’ for the United States, said Sam Brownback, U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, in releasing the U.S. State Department’s 2017 International Religious Freedom Report.”

Lesley Wroughton, “U.S. spokeswoman declines to say whether North Korea rights abuses on talks agenda,” Reuters, May 29, 2018 11:53 am