Unification Minister Kwon Young-se met Friday with the new U.N. special rapporteur for North Korea's human rights to discuss humanitarian issues in Pyongyang.
During his meeting with Elizabeth Salmon, Kwon promised proactive efforts to address the human rights issue of North Korea and expressed regret that the matter had been "neglected" under the previous liberal Moon Jae-in administration.
"The administration of President Yoon Suk-yeol will strive to improve the human rights situation of North Koreans no less than our efforts toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and improving inter-Korean relations," he said.
He stressed the need to hold people that are "responsible for making the North Korean human rights situation worse" accountable for their actions.
Salmon shared the view that human rights are a "necessary step for sustainable peace," and emphasized that the two sides have a common goal and responsibility toward enhancing the human rights of North Koreans.
Salmon arrived in Seoul earlier this week on her first trip to Korea since assuming the post early last month as Tomas Ojea Quintana's successor. (Yonhap)