‘North Korea human rights envoy appointed’ US State Department “Human rights are the center of foreign policy”

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The U.S. administration of Joe Biden, who appointed a special envoy for North Korean human rights that had been vacant for six years, repeatedly emphasized human rights as the center of its foreign policy.

At a briefing on the 24th (local time), State Department spokesperson Ned Price said, “Our government is committed to putting human rights at the center of our foreign policy,” and said that he looked forward to the swift confirmation of Julie Turner, the special envoy for North Korean human rights.

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Turner is known to be fluent in Korean and French, a former member of the Department of State’s Human Rights and Labor Bureau, which has dealt with North Korean human rights issues. It is said that he was also in charge of Southeast Asian affairs at the National Security Council (NSC).

Spokesman Price said, “For decades, the United States has been fighting to improve the human rights of North Koreans.”

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Regarding the vacancy in the position of special envoy for North Korean human rights, he explained that “this position was vacant, and it was not filled by the previous administration.” Subsequently, he said, “Officials at all levels of the State Department have been actively involved in human rights issues.”

In the briefing that day, the possibility of appointing a full-time special envoy to North Korea in the future was also mentioned. Spokesperson Price said, “If we reach a point where it makes sense to have someone dedicated to the position of special envoy to North Korea, we can think about it.”

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However, he explained that currently the US Ambassador to Indonesia, Sung Kim, is also serving as the special representative for North Korea policy, and that “as our ambassador and special envoy, we are doing a great job.” He also said that North Korea is not responding to the U.S. proposal for dialogue.

Spokesperson Price said, “The story will be different if active diplomacy with North Korea proceeds.”


Source: Donga

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