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North Korea warns the U.S. over human rights comments

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on December 21, 2019 - Duration: 01:02s

North Korea warns the U.S. over human rights comments

North Korea criticized the United States for taking issue with its human rights record on Saturday, saying Washington's "verbal abuse" would only aggravate the already tense situation on the Korean Peninsula.

Emer McCarthy reports.

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North Korea warns the U.S. over human rights comments

North Korea has warned the United States it would, quote, "pay dearly" for its comments on the nation's human rights record.

The UN General Assembly on Wednesday (December 18) condemned North Korea's "long-standing and ongoing" violations of human rights in an annual resolution sponsored by dozens of countries including the United States - but it was rejected by Pyongyang's U.N.

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The statement, which state news agency KCNA attributed to the foreign ministry, is the first since U.S. special envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, publicly urged Pyongyang on Monday (December 16) to return to talks.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday (December 20) that he remains hopeful Washington can restart diplomacy with North Korea, as the clock ticks down to North Korea's declared year-end deadline for new U.S. concessions in talks over its nuclear weapons program.

Pyongyang has repeatedly called for the United States to drop its "hostile policy" before negotiations can resume.

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