In his strongest condemnation of North Korea yet, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has branded the country an "evil place," and slammed the regime for its grave human rights abuses and nuclear weapons program.
In an interview with American network MSNBC on Wednesday, Kerry said there was no doubt North Korea is one of the most "closed and cruel" places on Earth and there is evil taking place there that all of us should be deeply concerned about.
He emphasized the need for enormous focus by the world in order to hold the regime accountable. and that every aspect of any law that can be applied should be applied.
Addressing the serious human rights abuses and corruption in the North, the top U.S. diplomat pointed out that North Korea has conducted numerous executions and forced people to watch them do it.
Kerry also said he had "very serious discussions" on North Korea's nuclear weapons program with Chinese officials during his recent trip to Beijing, and added the two countries will continue to press Pyongyang to take action.
Kerry's comments come after a UN-mandated inquiry last week described systemic, widespread and grave human rights violations taking place in North Korea.
The inquiry will present its findings to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva next month, and call on the UN to refer the situation in the North to the International Criminal Court.
Eoh Jin-joo, Arirang News.