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Seoul envoy for N.K. human rights urges solidarity in Argentina, Mexico

By Yonhap

Published : April 19, 2024 - 20:21

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Lee Shin-wha (C), South Korean ambassador for North Korean human rights, speaks during a seminar in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on April 16, 2024, in this photo provided by the foreign ministry on April 19. (Yonhap) Lee Shin-wha (C), South Korean ambassador for North Korean human rights, speaks during a seminar in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on April 16, 2024, in this photo provided by the foreign ministry on April 19. (Yonhap)

South Korea's envoy for North Korean human rights visited Argentina and Mexico for discussions on improving the rights situation in Pyongyang, the foreign ministry said Friday.

Ambassador Lee Shin-wha met government officials, experts and activists from nongovernmental organizations during her four-day trip to the Latin American countries, according to the ministry.

In Buenos Aires, she called for the international community's support and attention to the North's human rights violations to prevent it from turning into a "forgotten crisis" during a seminar Tuesday.

North Korea's human rights record has drawn greater international attention since the U.N. Commission of Inquiry issued a landmark report in 2014 after a yearlong probe, saying that North Korean leaders are responsible for "widespread, systematic and gross" violations of human rights.

North Korea claims its people are freely enjoying genuine human rights.

Elizabeth Salmon, the U.N. special rapporteur for North Korean human rights, and Tomas Ojea Quintana, a former special rapporteur, also attended the seminar and stressed the need for global discussions on ways to enhance the human rights of the North.

Lee also held talks with Deputy Foreign Minister Leopoldo Sahores to ask for Argentina's support in efforts to improve the human rights situation in North Korea.

In Mexico, she met with Joel Hernandez Garcia, the undersecretary for multilateral affairs and human rights, and held in-depth discussions on ways to deepen solidarity to improve the dire situation in Pyongyang.

On Friday, she will hold talks with North Korean defectors and scholars on topics related to the North in Los Angeles, the United States. (Yonhap)