Korea University professor appointed as roving human rights ambassador to North Korea

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New Goodwill Ambassador for Human Rights in North Korea Lee Shin-wha (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

The government on Tuesday appointed Lee Shin-wha, a professor of international relations at Korea University, as a roving ambassador on North Korean human rights issues, filling the vacant post for five years.

The Foreign Ministry said it was appointing Lee as ambassador to support the government’s diplomatic efforts to promote North Korean human rights, both bilaterally and multilaterally.

Lee, from the university’s political science and international relations department, has written several books and reports on North Korea and international cooperation, and has extensive experience working in the field of international cooperation, the official said. Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The Korean government will work consistently with international society to improve the human rights of North Koreans,” the foreign ministry said in a press release.

After graduating from Ewha Womans University, Lee earned her doctorate in international relations from the University of Maryland.

She was a board member of the UN Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund and Special Advisor to former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for the Independent Inquiry into the Rwandan Genocide. .

Lee also served as Chairman of the Korean Academic Council on the United Nations System.

She should work with governments of other countries, international organizations and civic groups on human rights issues in North Korea, and also hold seminars and forums to raise public awareness on the subject, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The position was first introduced in 2016, under North Korea’s human rights law which was established the same year under the conservative Park Geun-hye administration.

The first roving ambassador was Lee Jung-hoon, a former human rights ambassador and professor of international studies at Yonsei University.

After Lee resigned in September 2017, the liberal Moon Jae-in administration that was inaugurated in May of the same year left the seat vacant throughout the five-year term.

The current conservative Yoon Suk-yeol administration, which takes a tougher stance against Pyongyang than its predecessor, has been more vocal in favor of improving the human rights situation in North Korea.

By Jo Herim (herim@heraldcorp.com)

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