Wednesday, January 13, 2010

U.S Envoy King urges release of Robert Park from North Korea

President Obama's special envoy for North Korean human rights is making his first visit to the South Korean capital. He urged the North to release a captive American citizen Robert Park and says, if the North wants closer ties with Washington, it will need to address its human rights situation.

U.S. Special Envoy Robert King told reporters in Seoul the United States is pushing Pyongyang for details about Christian activist Robert Park. "We are actively working to find out where he is being held, and to urge that he be released," he said.

King also says Washington is interested in bringing more North Korean refugees into the United States. "We have expressed a desire to provide an opportunity for people who want to come to the United States, who are North Koreans, to do that," he said. "There are requirements that we have, but we have tried to give instructions to our embassies to make this as easy and as available as possible... but yes, we are anxious to do that."

King is scheduled to remain in Seoul until Thursday and is expected to meet with visiting United Nations Special Rapporteur on North Korean Human Rights, Vitit Muntabhorn.

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