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Lee Dae-jun’s family requests meeting with new UN envoy on North Korea human rights

Salmón to make first official visit to South Korea on Aug. 29

The slain official’s older brother Lee Rae-jin (left) and his lawyer Kim Ki-yun (right) met with former UN special rapporteur on North Korea human rights, Tomás Ojea Quintana, in Seoul on June 28. (courtesy of Lee)
The slain official’s older brother Lee Rae-jin (left) and his lawyer Kim Ki-yun (right) met with former UN special rapporteur on North Korea human rights, Tomás Ojea Quintana, in Seoul on June 28. (courtesy of Lee)

The family of Lee Dae-jun, a 47-year-old South Korean government official who was shot dead by North Korean soldiers near the sea border in 2020, has requested a meeting with Elizabeth Salmón, the newly appointed United Nations envoy for North Korea human rights.

The murdered official’s older brother Lee Rae-jin told The Korea Herald that he has asked to meet with Salmón in person during her official visit to South Korea later this month.

Lee said that over the meeting he wished to discuss the “unresolved questions” raised by the 2020 death of his brother.

“I think that there is a role that the UN could play in making sure that no such atrocity occur in the future,” he said.

He said he also wished to address the family lacking access the government’s records regarding the murder and being kept in the dark about what happened to his brother. 

Sources familiar with the matter confirmed to The Korea Herald that Salmón, who was appointed to the post of the UN special rapporteur on the human rights situation in North Korea earlier this month, was due to visit South Korea for a week from Aug. 29.

Lee and his lawyer Kim Ki-yun had met with Salmon’s predecessor Tomás Ojea Quintana, who served in the North Korea human rights portfolio for six years until July, for the second time in June.

According to Lee, Quintana proposed that the family to reach out to the UN envoy on extrajudicial killings. The family recently sent a letter to Morris Tidball-Binz, the special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, in which they called for increased action from the UN in holding North Korea accountable.

In the letter seen by The Korea Herald, the family said that, “Lee Dae-jun, an unarmed civilian with no suspicions of wrongdoing, was killed in the most brutal way without any justifiable explanation. This should not happen to anyone ever again.”

By Kim Arin (arin@heraldcorp.com)

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