UN rapporteur on North's human rights meets with South's officials
Tomas Ojea Quintana arrived in Seoul on Tuesday for a nine-day visit, during which he plans to meet with South Korean government officials, politicians, as well as civic groups and North Korean defectors to prepare for an annual report to be submitted to the Human Rights Council next month.
He paid a courtesy call to Vice Unification Minister Choi Young-jun and discussed pending humanitarian issues, including the reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, according to the Ministry of Unification.
"The vice unification minister said efforts to improve inter-Korean relations and establish peace on the Korean Peninsula should make progress based on cooperation with the international community to actually promote North Koreans' human rights," the ministry said in a press release.
Quintana also had a meeting with Second Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-moon to exchange opinions on diplomatic efforts to promote human rights in North Korea, the Foreign Ministry said.
On Thursday, the UN expert is scheduled to meet the brother of a South Korean fisheries official who was killed by North Korean troops near the inter-Korean sea border in 2020 and the son of the North's 1969 plane hijacking victim.
It is Quintana's seventh trip to South Korea since taking office in August 2016 and the last before his term ends in August.
The rapporteur will hold a press briefing on his findings and recommendations on the last day of his stay here.