WASHINGTON (AFP) - US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday called for global attention on North Korea, denouncing the isolated Asian nation as "an evil, evil place."
"North Korea is one of the most closed and cruel places on earth. There's no question about it. There's evil that is taking place there that all of us ought to be deeply and are deeply concerned about," the top US diplomat said.
The top US diplomat said he had had serious talks in China about North Korea including the challenge of the dealing with its suspect nuclear program. "We had very serious discussions there about the options available to us.
And we are continuing to press for action," Kerry said in an interview with MSNBC television.
"But in the meantime, there is no question that the level of depravity, the level of human rights violations, they have conducted executions, using 122-millimeter aircraft guns to obliterate people and force people to watch these kinds of executions.
"This is an evil, evil place. And it requires enormous focus by the world in order to hold it accountable. And I think every aspect of any law that can be applied should be applied."
Many North Korean defectors have given harrowing testimony to a UN-mandated inquiry that last week issued a searing, 400-page indictment of gross human rights abuses.
The UN report said North Korea's leaders should be brought before an international court for a litany of crimes against humanity.
It found that "systemic, widespread and gross human rights violations have been and are being committed" by North Korea, its institutions and officials.