US President Joe Biden has nominated Julie Turner as special envoy for human rights in North Korea. White House said that the move is to fill a post that has been empty since 2017 amid debate over how rights issues fit with efforts to counter Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme.
She is a long-time diplomat and current director of the Office of East Asia and the Pacific in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the Department of State. She speaks Korean and has previously worked on North Korean human rights as a special assistant in the envoy’s office. Biden vowed repeatedly after taking office in 2021 that human rights would be at the centre of his foreign policy, but the position had remained vacant.