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U.S. envoy for N. Korean human rights to visit Korea this week

By Song Sang-ho

May 21, 2024

Credits @FFHR.CZ

WASHINGTON, May 20 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights will visit South Korea this week for talks on a range of issues, including the "inextricable" links between Pyongyang's human rights and security issues, the State Department said Monday.

Ambassador Julie Turner is set to visit Korea from Tuesday through Saturday to meet South Korean officials, civil society members, North Korean escapees, and attend the Asian Leadership Conference hosted by the Chosun Ilbo, a local daily.

"Across a series of speeches, meetings, and site visits, Ambassador Turner will speak to the inextricable links between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) human rights abuses and threats to international peace and security," the department said in a media note. DPRK stands for the North's official name.

The department was referring to the U.S. claim that the North's human rights and security issues are closely linked as its repressive political environment has enabled Pyongyang to divert its scarce resources to advancing its weapons programs without pushback from North Koreans suffering economic hardships.

Turner also plans to highlight the need for greater supply chain due diligence amid allegations that North Koreans have been forced to work in seafood processing plants in China with some of that seafood having apparently ended up on American plates.

In addition, she will draw attention to the plight of families of South Koreans abducted and detained by North Korea, according to the department.


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