Top US diplomat slams North Korea’s rights condition

America’s top diplomat on Wednesday criticized North Korea’s human rights record and reiterated a vow to strip the country of its nuclear program, a day after Pyongyang warned Washington to “refrain from causing a stink” amid deadlocked nuclear negotiations.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in South Korea with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin earlier Wednesday as part of their regional tour aimed at boosting America’s Asian alliances to better deal with growing challenges from China and North Korea.

“The authoritarian regime in North Korea continues to commit systematic and widespread abuses against its own people,” Blinken said at the start of his meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong. “We must stand with people demanding their fundamental rights and freedoms and against those who repress them.”

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