The U.S. human rights envoy to North Korea says the United States is working to break an "information blockade" that allows North Korea to hide its rights abuses and keep its people away from outside news.
Robert King told a forum in Seoul on Thursday that North Korea's media isolation means its "deplorable human rights conditions" draw far less world attention than abuses in the Soviet Union did four decades ago.
King's comments come amid high animosity following a North Korean long-range rocket launch in April and Pyongyang's accusations that South Korea has insulted its new leadership.
Pyongyang denies abusing its citizens and accuses Washington of "politicizing human rights" of countries that stand up to its aggression.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)