US special envoy on N.Korean human rights issues to visit Japan, S.Korea

The US State Department has announced that the special envoy on North Korean human rights issues will travel to Japan and South Korea from Monday.

The department said in a statement on Friday that Julie Turner will meet government officials, civil society members and North Korean defectors during her 11-day trip.

In Japan, Turner is expected to exchange views on the abductions of Japanese nationals by North Korea and emphasize the need for an immediate resolution to these cases.

In South Korea, she will discuss efforts to promote accountability for those responsible for Pyongyang's human rights violations, as well as ways to advance the welfare of the North Korean people.

The department says Turner's trip marks the 10th anniversary of the final release of the UN Commission of Inquiry on human rights in North Korea.

The report issued in 2014 recognized the North's abductions of Japanese and other foreign nationals, North Korean political prison camps, as well as other acts as "crimes against humanity."

The US department says Turner's trip will underscore the US commitment to promoting human rights in North Korea.