North Korea denounces US over human trafficking blacklisting     DATE: 2024-07-22 07:37:40

People on the streets in the city of Pyongyang in this <strong></strong>photo from Sept. 11, 2018. Yonhap
People on the streets in the city of Pyongyang in this photo from Sept. 11, 2018. Yonhap

North Korean propaganda outlets lashed out at the United States on Thursday for pressuring the communist nation over human rights issues, calling it an "intolerable insult" and "political provocation."

The U.S. has recently renewed its designation of the North as one of the worst human trafficking countries and a violator of religious freedom, and slapped sanctions on Choe Ryong-hae, a close aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, for human rights abuses.

"The U.S.'s intention lies in condemning our country as a human trafficking country, making a scratch on our republic's image and thereby creating a mood for sanctions pressure," Uriminzokkiri, one of the North's propaganda websites, said in an article.

People on the streets in the city of Pyongyang in this photo from Sept. 11, 2018. Yonhap
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, welcomes North Korea's special envoy Choe Ryong Hae during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. Yonhap

Other propaganda websites, including Meari, have been carrying similar articles since early this week.

The U.S. said it will continue to urge North Korea to address its human rights abuses.

These measures came amid a deadlock in nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang. North Korea wants the U.S. to ease sanctions in exchange for the denuclearization steps the regime has taken so far, but the U.S. insists that sanctions relief is possible only after the North's complete denuclearization.

The North has claimed that the U.S. taking issue with its human rights situation is a tactic to draw concessions in the stalled denuclearization talks. (Yonhap)