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U.N.'s role needed on N. Korea's human rights violation: envoy

All News 12:34 July 02, 2018

SEOUL, July 2 (Yonhap) -- A United Nations expert on North Korea's human rights on Monday welcomed a thaw in inter-Korean relations and voiced hope for the global agency's role in addressing the communist nation's human rights record, according to South Korea's foreign ministry.

Tomas Ojea Quintana, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in North Korea, delivered the position in a meeting with Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun.

Tomas Ojea Quintana, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in North Korea, in a file photo (Yonhap)

He arrived here earlier in the day for a weeklong trip meant to collect information for a report to be submitted to the U.N. General Assembly session in October.

Cho referred to a recent inter-Korean agreement to resume the reunion of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, a fruit of the ongoing dialogue mood spurred by summit diplomacy.

Cho was quoted as telling the U.N. envoy, "The strengthening of exchanges and cooperation with North Korea through such progress is expected to have a positive effect on a substantive improvement in the human rights of North Korean residents."

Quintana hoped for the momentum to go on and emphasized the importance of cooperation with the U.N. authorities in dealing with the human rights issue, the ministry said.

During his fourth visit to South Korea as a top U.N. investigator on the North's human rights abuse, he also plans to meet with Ministry of Unification officials, North Korean defectors and civic group officials.

He assumed the post in August 2016.


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