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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

At the conclusion of the 50th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, the President of the Council named eight individuals to human rights related positions, including Elizabeth Salmón as the “Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea.”  Salmón is a professor of international…

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Region: Asia

July 25, 2022

North Korean officials confirmed the first deaths in the country from COVID-19 on May 13, and the latest North Korean news media reports state that well over a million North Koreans are suffering “fever symptoms.” (See reports in The Washington Post, The New York Times, the Guardian, BBC, CNN, Voice of America.) Kim Jong-un appeared…

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May 20, 2022

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Council have begun the process of selecting a new Special Rapporteur to focus on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).  Special Rapporteur Tomás Ojea Quintana has held the mandate for DPRK human rights for the…

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Region: Asia

May 3, 2022

The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held a hearing on April 7 to question President Joseph Biden’s nominee for U.S. Ambassador to South Korea, Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg.  Goldberg is one of four ambassadorial nominees who testified before the Foreign Relations Committee on April 7.  Two of the four nominees, including Goldberg, are senior…

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Region: Asia

April 8, 2022