Biden appointed a special human rights envoy for North Korea

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The position had been vacant since 2017. The White House reported that Julie Turner has been nominated for the position, but requires Senate clearance

Biden appointed a special human rights envoy for North Korea

Biden appointed a new special human rights envoy for North Korea. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

US President Joe Biden appointed a new special human rights envoy to North Korea after no one has held office since 2017 following a decision by the administration of former President Donald Trump.

Julie Turner< /b>, director of the East Asia and Pacific Bureau at the US State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, was nominated to serve as Pyongyang's special envoy for human rights issues, the White House.

The post had been vacant since 2017, when Trump sought to strengthen ties with North Korea and the former US president he met up to three times with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

Turner, who would have a role with the rank of ambassador in the Asian country, has worked for more than 16 years in the East Asia and Pacific Office, in positions of increasing responsibility, mainly focused on initiatives related to the promotion of human rights in North Korea. Among other notable facts on her resume, she speaks French and Korean.

Biden appointed a special Human Rights envoy for North Korea

Trump sought to strengthen ties with North Korea and the former US president met North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un up to three times. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Now the US Senate must approve his nomination. If she goes ahead, the diplomat will be confirmed in office, as detailed by the Biden Administration.

Changes in Pyongyang

North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong Un, announced earlier this year a restructuring of its top military officers and has removed, among others, Pak Jong Chon, who was secretary of the Central Committee and vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Party of the Workers.

He will be relieved by Ri Yong Gil, who has held the Defense portfolio until December. He was also chief of the General Staff of the Korean People's Army from 2013 to 2016, the KCNA news agency reported.

Kang Sun Nam will take over the National Defense portfolio, thus replacing Ri, while Pak Su Il was appointed Chief of the General Staff of the Korean People's Army< /b>, taking over from Ri Thae Sop, who in turn will assume the position of Minister of Public Security.

Biden appointed a special human rights envoy for North Korea

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. (KCNA via REUTERS)

Pyongyang routinely renews leadership of him. The changes come after a plenary meeting of the party in which Kim defended in a speech “the importance and necessity” of producing tactical nuclear weapons.

“The situation demands redoubling efforts to overwhelmingly bolster military force, to fully guarantee the Republic's sovereignty, security, and fundamental interests in response to troubling military moves by the United States and other hostile forces,” he said.

(With information from Europa Press)

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