SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A U.N. rights investigator says negotiations on North Korea's denuclearization must also include its abysmal human rights situation.
Tomas Ojea Quintana told reporters in Seoul on Friday that he wants North Korea to accept his call for a dialogue on its human rights conditions.
He says the human rights issue was sidelined in diplomatic efforts last year to strip North Korea of its nuclear weapons.
Quintana, the U.N. special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in North Korea, says he hopes 2019 will "usher in a new era for human rights" for the North Korean people.
He says it's regrettable that North Korea has not allowed him to visit despite his requests over the past three years for cooperation.