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Robert King

Distinguished Fellow
Korea Economic Institute of America
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About Robert King

Ambassador Robert King is currently a Non-Resident Fellow at the Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI) and a Senior Advisor to the Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Prior to joining KEI, he was the Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues following confirmation by the United States Senate in November 2009. Ambassador King worked as the leading U.S. official on human rights and humanitarian affairs for North Korea. Prior to his appointment, he worked on Capitol Hill for 25 years. He was concurrently Staff Director of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U. S. House of Representatives (2007-2008), Democratic Staff Director of the Committee (2001-2007), and had held various professional staff positions on the Committee since 1993. He has authored five books and more than 40 articles on international relations. Ambassador King holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

You’ve probably heard the Korean War referred to as an unfinished conflict – but that’s not just a reference to the frozen war on the Peninsula. The sudden outbreak of…

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Region: Asia

August 7, 2020

Should the international community suspend advocacy for human rights in favor of cooperation with odious regimes to fight the COVID-19 pandemic? This appears upon first glance like a trade-off, but…

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April 10, 2020

During the week from May 28 to June 2, North Korea released over 1,000 large balloons across the demilitarized zone (DMZ) into South Korea. The balloons carried payloads of manure, cigarette butts, used batteries, cloth and plastic fragments, and lots of scrap paper (including used toilet paper). One report said that even dirty diapers were…

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Region: Asia

June 11, 2024

The blatant abduction of Japanese citizens by North Korea around 40 years ago continues to be a sensitive and controversial issue for the Japanese government and the Japanese people, as well as a serious obstacle to improved relations between Pyongyang and Tokyo. From about 1977 to 1983, North Korean military and intelligence operatives kidnapped at…

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Region: Asia

May 7, 2024

The United States North Korea Human Rights Act was originally adopted by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush on October 18, 2004. The legislation called for appointment of a Special Envoy for North Korea Human Rights and gave directives for US government agencies to encourage human rights in the North. The legislation authorized…

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Region: Asia

April 8, 2024

South Korea established full diplomatic relations with Cuba on February 15, 2024, when the ambassadors of the two countries to the United Nations in New York City exchanged diplomatic notes formally establishing diplomatic ties.  The move was unexpected since there had been no recent public reports that the two countries were engaged in discussions regarding…

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February 16, 2024