November 23, 2009 11:59
The U.S. Senate on Friday unanimously approved Robert King as special envoy for North Korean human rights. King will start his official duties as a member of the State Department's North Korea policy team under Stephen Bosworth, AP reported.
Unlike his predecessor Jay Leftowitz, an ineffectual part-timer named by former President George W. Bush, King will handle North Korean human rights full-time.
Speaking at a Senate confirmation hearing earlier this month, he defined North Korea as "one of the worst abusers of human rights in the world." He pledged to protect the human rights of the North Koreans, pay attention to South Korean prisoners of war in the North and Japanese abducted to the North, and address China's deportation of North Korean defectors.
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