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Biden will appoint special envoy for N. Korean human rights as required: Blinken

All News 03:32 June 08, 2021

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, June 7 (Yonhap) -- The Joe Biden administration will appoint a special envoy for North Korean human rights as required by law, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday.

Blinken, however, said he does not yet have an exact timeline for such an appointment.

"We will be coming forward with that," he said when asked if the Biden administration planned to appoint a special envoy for North Korean human rights in the near future.

The U.S. president is required by the North Korean Human Rights Act to appoint a special envoy for North Korean human rights, but the post at the State Department has been vacant since January 2017.

Blinken blamed what he called a "laborious" vetting process for a delay in Biden's appointment of a special envoy.

"I think as you know, the vetting process has become ever more complicated, ever more time consuming, ever more laborious. We want to make sure that all of that is done properly, but we will do that," he said in a hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on his department's Fiscal Year 2022 budget request.

Biden took office on Jan. 20.

The new U.S. president has yet to name nominees for many top government posts, including most ambassadorial positions at home and abroad.

The image captured from the website of the U.S. State Department shows State Secretary Antony Blinken testifying in a virtual hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington on June 6, 2021. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

bdk@yna.co.kr
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