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Friday, February 3, 2023

Joe Biden names North Korea human rights envoy, first since 2017

World NewsJoe Biden names North Korea human rights envoy, first since 2017

Reuters | | Posted by Ritu Maria Jani.

The White House on Tuesday named a special envoy for human rights in North Korea, stepping in to fill a post that has been vacant since 2017, amid talk that rights issues are being dealt with by Pyongyang. How do they fit in with efforts to counter the nuclear weapons program?

President Joe Biden Julie Turner, a longtime diplomat and current director of the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor for East Asia and the Pacific, has been nominated, the White House said in a statement.

She speaks Korean and previously worked in the ambassador’s office as a special assistant on North Korean human rights, the statement said.

The post of special envoy – and a similar one in South Korea – had become controversial as the previous administration tried to bring North Korea to the negotiating table. Some activists said that human rights had been sidelined in favor of national security priorities.

After Biden took office in 2021, he repeatedly vowed that human rights would be at the center of his foreign policy, but the post remained vacant.

South Korea’s ambassador for North Korean human rights expressed disappointment last year that the Biden administration had not yet appointed an envoy on the issue.

North Korea has repeatedly denied allegations of human rights abuses and blamed the sanctions for the dire humanitarian situation. He has accused Washington and Seoul of using the issue as a political weapon to tarnish Pyongyang’s reputation.

A landmark 2014 UN report on North Korean human rights concluded that North Korea’s security chiefs — and possibly leader Kim Jong Un — oversee a state-controlled system of Nazi-style atrocities. So justice should be done.

Since then, North Korea’s containment of the coronavirus has led to increased human rights abuses, UN investigators said, citing additional restrictions on access to information, tighter border security and increased digital surveillance. Is.

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