Thursday, July 02, 2009

Meet the new Human Rights Envoy to North Korea

Chosun Ilbo provides some background on Robert King, who has been designated as the Barack Obama administration's North Korea Human Rights Special Envoy. King was previously chief secretary to former House Foreign Relations Committee chairman Tom Lantos (assisting Lantos for 25 years until his death in February last year) and participated in foreign policy issues at the House of Representatives.

King has a keen interest in North Korean issues, personally preparing working-level matters ahead of Lantos' two visits to North Korea. He was also involved with the North Korea Human Rights Act, which was drafted in 2004 and mandated the appointment of a U.S. special envoy -- the very job he now stands to get.

King has researched the fall of the communism in Eastern Europe and is known among working-level officials in the U.S. Congress as an expert in the region, according to Radio Free Asia. Chuck Downs, executive director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, said King's experience will help him in his new duties.

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