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Reform on human rights essential at Trump-Kim summit

Ahead of the historic summit between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Tuesday, a coalition of human rights organizations from around the world sent a letter to the communist leader, urging him to undertake meaningful reforms to reverse the grave human rights situation in the country, The Korea Herald reported.

Trump and Kim are due to hold talks � the first-ever between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader � in Singapore, with Trump describing the summit as a one-time shot at peace. Denuclearizing Pyongyang will top the agenda, while bringing a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War will also be on the table.

The paper said whether the issue of improving North Korea's human rights situation will be discussed remains to be seen.

As the UN Security Council has recognized, human rights abuses in North Korea and threats to international peace and security are intrinsically connected, so any security discussion needs to include human rights, said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, on behalf of some 300 nongovernmental organizations, The Korea Herald reported.

North Korea's increased dialogue with other countries is a positive step, but before the world gets too excited they should remember that Kim Jong-un still presides over perhaps the most repressive system in the world.

The letter was signed by 52 organizations, including coalitions representing more than 300 nongovernmental organizations from Asia, Latin America, Africa, Europe and North America.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)