SEOUL, June 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is pushing for a presidential declaration on the abolition of capital punishment, the state human rights watchdog said Monday, resuming efforts toward doing away with the long-disputed measure, in step with the growing international trend.
"We are working to bring an announcement by President Moon Jae-in on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty around the time of this year's 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," Shim Sang-don, chief of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)'s policy and education bureau, told reporters.
South Korea retains capital punishment as part of state-sanctioned practices for punishing serious crimes.
But it has not carried out a death sentence on prisoners on death row since December 1997, nor has the country officially declared its discontinuance.
Data from correctional authorities show that there are currently a total of 61 prisoners, including military officers, that have been sentenced to death in South Korea.