Foreign ministry welcomes nomination of new U.S. special envoy for N.K. human rights

The foreign ministry on Tuesday welcomed the nomination of a new U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights, saying South Korea will further strengthen cooperation with the United States to improve the North's human rights situation.

The White House announced earlier that Julie Turner, director of East Asia and the Pacific at the State Department's bureau of democracy, human rights and labor, has been nominated to serve as special envoy for North Korean human rights issues.

The post has been vacant for about six years since the last envoy, Robert King, left.

"Our government welcomes the U.S. government's nomination of a State Department special envoy for North Korean human rights and looks forward to an early start of the mission," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"South Korea and the U.S. share serious concern about North Korea's human rights situation and ... the government will further strengthen cooperation between the two countries for the improvement of North Korea's human rights situation," the ministry said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency