Posted May. 05, 2005 23:41,
Jay Lefkowitz, former deputy assistant to the President is being referred to as a strong candidate for the ambassador-level position of U.S. special envoy on human rights in North Korea within the State Department, a new post established to monitor and improve the human rights situation in North Korea.
On May 4, the New York Sun, a U.S. daily newspaper, quoted an official of the government as saying, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will soon appoint the former White House assistant Lefkowitz as the special envoy for North Koreas human rights.
However, the Sun added that the White House declined to confirm the above-mentioned matter by saying, We will announce the successor as soon as it is decided.
Regarding the matter, a diplomatic source in Washington D.C. noted that it heard from the U.S. government that discussion was under way for selecting former assistant Lefkowitz as a new special envoy, and that the final result was not yet confirmed.
Former assistant Lefkowitz, who has been working at a law firm in Washington D.C. since 2003, worked in the domestic policy council department of the first President Bush in 1991, and worked as an assistant in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the George W. Bush administration in 2001.
Prior to his work for the government, Lefkowitz handled human rights work as a member of the U.S. delegation that was dispatched to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights in 1990.
Once appointed, the special envoy for North Korean human rights will report the human rights situation in North Korea in accordance with the provisions of the North Korea Human Rights Act of 2004, which was passed last October, and carry out budget management of the U.S. North Korean human rights budget worth about $24 million (about 24 billion won) on a yearly basis, which includes hosting an international conference aimed at improving the human rights situation in North Korea.