U.S. Human Rights Envoy Robert King Arrives in South Korea for North Korean Issues

Michael Song, April 3, 2016, 9:15 p.m.


The U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights issues arrived in South Korea this weekend for discussions on a range of issues related to the communist nation, government officials said Sunday. Amb. Robert King arrived in Seoul via Incheon International Airport on Saturday to meet with senior officials in South Korea for discussions on diverse issues related to North Korea.

The human rights bill, which was passed by South Korea's parliament last month, is known to be one of the envoy's major interests. The bill calls for a concerted effort to improve the North's human rights situation, such as setting up a foundation tasked with collecting information about the situation and maintaining relevant archives. The dismal human rights situation in North Korea was also addressed during the trilateral summit between South Korea, the U.S. and Japan, which took place Thursday.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye said she agreed with U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to strengthen efforts to improve the human rights situation in the North. Obama said that the three countries will work closely together to promote "opportunities and prosperity for the North Korean people who have been suffering so severely because of human rights abuses in North Korea." 

Pyongyang is accused of committing countless human rights abuses, ranging from holding hundreds of thousands of political prisoners in concentration camps and allowing torture and public executions. The country, however, flatly denies the accusations raised and counters that the criticism is a ploy led by the United States to topple its regime. King is set to leave for Washington on Wednesday, wrapping up his five-day trip to South Korea.

 

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