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White House: U.S. deeply concerned about N. Korea

All Headlines 10:28 August 27, 2016

WASHINGTON, Aug. 26 (Yonhap) -- The United States is deeply concerned about the human rights situation in North Korea and the country's nuclear and missile programs, the White House said Friday.

"The United States and the rest of the international community is deeply concerned about the human rights situation inside of North Korea," Josh Earnest, press secretary at the White House, said in a regular briefing. "We also have deep concerns about the continued willingness of the North Korean regime in provocative actions."

In its latest military provocations, North Korea test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile in the East Sea on Wednesday, prompting the United Nations Security Council to hold an emergency meeting to discuss a press statement to condemn the launch.

The missile flew some 500 kilometers before landing in waters near Japan, demonstrating an advance in performance from its previous SLBM launches.

North Korea is also reportedly tightening the screws on its diplomats and officials posted outside of the country following the recent defection of a senior diplomat based in London and his family.

"We spend more time talking about our concerns about their missile programs and their nuclear program, but our concerns about the human rights situation in North Korea are quite deep," the spokesman said.

"The North Korean regime has virtually enslaved the population of North Korea and subjected them to despicable living conditions, all because of the policies that are pursued by the North Korean regime," he pointed out.

It is the U.S.' policy to expect an improvement on the Korean Peninsula with regard to both the North Korean government's commitment to following international rules on its missile program as well as steps to address the significant human rights concerns expressed by the international community, he said.

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