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U.S. envoy King meets Seoul's defector-turned-lawmaker

Sept. 25, 2012 - 21:43 By 김소현

The special U.S. envoy for North Korean human rights met with South Korea's ruling party lawmaker who originally comes from the North, an informed source said Tuesday.

The meeting between Amb. Robert King and Rep. Cho Myung-chul of the ruling Saenuri Party came at the request of the U.S. diplomat, according to the source, who asked not to be identified.

Cho, 53, defected to South Korea in 1994 while working as a professor at the North's Kim Il Sung University. He has proposed a new North Korean human rights law and his proposed bill, if passed, seeks to allow South Korea's national human rights watchdog to monitor human rights violations in the communist North.

"I understand a wide range of issues were discussed at the (King-Cho) meeting, including the North Korean human rights bill that currently sits in the National Assembly and cooperation between their countries' legislatures in dealing with North Korean human rights issues," the source said.

The U.S. envoy arrived here Saturday on a trip that included an earlier meeting with Seoul's chief negotiator in the six-party talks aimed at ending the North's nuclear ambition. He is scheduled to leave Wednesday. (Yonhap News)