South Korean envoy on human rights in North Korea will visit US


(MENAFN) South Korea's new ambassador for North Korean human rights will visit the United States for the first time this week, authorities announced Sunday.

Lee Shin-hwa planned to meet State Department and White House officials, as well as experts and activists, in Washington, D.C., during her four-day trip beginning Wednesday to discuss a variety of current concerns, including Pyongyang's nuclear threat and missile provocations.

Lee, a professor of political science at Korea University, was named as the new envoy in July, filling a position that had been empty since September 2017.

North Korea's human rights record has received increased international scrutiny since the United Nations Commission of Inquiry issued a report in 2014, following a yearlong investigation, concluding that North Korean leaders are responsible for "widespread, systematic, and gross" violations of human rights.

North Korea has long been accused of major human rights violations ranging from the confinement of political detainees in concentration camps to the use of torture and public executions.

Nonetheless, North Korea has reacted angrily to outside criticism, branding it a US-led coup attempt.

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