South Korea's Foreign Ministry said yesterday that it plans to appoint a new envoy for North Korean human rights.
The position that had been vacant for five years during Moon Jae-in administration as part of efforts for inter-Korean engagement.
Lee Shin-hwa, has been named the ambassador, a political science professor at Korea University.
This comes as the conservative Yoon Suk-yeol administration has taken a more active role in approaching human rights issues in the reclusive state.
With this, Lee will be in charge of coordinating international efforts to improve human rights in the North and raise awareness of the issue.
For more on the latest situation in North Korea, we are joined by Kim Jung, a Professor from the University of North Korean Studies via Skype.
1. First off, Professor, the post had been vacant for 5 years during the former Moon administration.
And back then, there had been criticism that the government at the time didn't name an ambassador because of relations with North Korea.
But this seems to be a bold move by the new administration. How do you read into this?
2. North Korea has been relatively been quiet recently, but in the past, the regime was very sensitive when it came to its human rights situation. How will North Korea react to the latest appointment, do you think?
3. Today we had saw a report that placed North Korea in the lowest category of Tier 3, in the U.S. Trafficking in Persons Report for the 20th straight year. Can you explain to our viewers, how severe is the current human rights situation in North Korea?
4. We are seeing COVID-19 infections rise again in many parts of the world. North Korea seems to be reporting its situation via its state media, but how's the situation looking there? How's the regime dealing with it?
5. North Korea's state-run Rodong Shinmun had been releasing articles calling for the North Korean people to be loyal to the central party.
Why do you think there have been more reports like that? Why now?
Alright, Professor Kim, thank you for making time for us, we appreciate it.