U.S. envoy discusses N.K. human rights with S. Korean official ahead of visit to abduction site

May 22, 2024

The U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights discussed Wednesday ways to coordinate with South Korea on promoting the rights situation in the reclusive regime during a meeting with an official here, the foreign ministry said.

The meeting between Julie Turner, the U.S. special representative for North Korean human rights, and Chun Young-hee, director general for the Korean Peninsula peace regime at Seoul’s foreign ministry, came ahead of Turner’s expected visit to sites in the southwestern region where a number of South Korean teens were abducted by the North in the 1970s.

Turner will pay a visit to the Seonyu and Hong islands in Gunsan, about 180 kilometers southwest of Seoul, on Friday, alongside Unification Minister Kim Yung-ho, who is in charge of inter-Korean relations.

In Wednesday’s meeting, Chun said South Korea will step up to make sure the issues of South Korean abductees, detainees and prisoners of war in the North are better known to the public and bolster support for North Korean defectors.

The two sides also agreed to continue consultations for an upcoming bilateral dialogue on North Korea’s human rights, set to take place in later this year.