February 06, 2023

Interview: What South Korea’s new human rights envoy means for inter-Korean ties

Robert King says South Korea no longer willing to place DPRK human rights on back burner, calls on US to do the same

For the first time in five years, South Korea has a special ambassador for North Korean human rights: Foreign minister Park Jin formally appointed Lee Shin-wha to serve in the position for a year on Thursday, and she brings decades of experience in multilateral diplomacy to the role.

Lee’s appointment, a few months into the Yoon Suk-yeol administration, comes as the Biden administration continues to leave Washington’s own DPRK human rights envoy position vacant despite vowing to fill it over a year ago.