Wednesday, October 31, 2007

US lashes out at North Korea's 'horrendous' human rights record

The United States lashed out Wednesday at North Korea's "horrendous" human rights record and said the international community must be "blunt" to make the hardline communist state change its ways.

The strong words by Washington came as North Korea prepared to start disabling Thursday its nuclear facilities for the first time as part of a multilateral effort.

"The human rights situation for North Koreans in North Korea and those who have fled (to China) has not improved markedly, it remains horrendous," said Mark Lagon, the State Department's director of the office to monitor and combat human trafficking. "If you want a prescription of what we should do from this point forward -- 'we must be frank and blunt with the North Korean authorities about their human rights record, which is abysmal," Lagon said.

[Agence France-Press]

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