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North Korea denounces U.S. as 'human rights wasteland'

North Korea issued a second statement on racism and protests in the United States on Wednesday. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
North Korea issued a second statement on racism and protests in the United States on Wednesday. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

June 17 (UPI) -- North Korea said Wednesday the United States is a "human rights wasteland" amid ongoing Black Lives Matter protests around the world, following the deaths of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks.

Pyongyang's state-controlled news agency KCNA said racism in the United States demonstrates the worst aspects of the world's largest economy, while the U.S. government takes issue with the rights records of other countries.

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"Acts of racism carried out in the United States and the international community's criticism and condemnation are exposing the rotten and diseased human rights wasteland that is the United States," KCNA said.

"That the United States discusses the human rights condition of other countries is the result of double standards and an unbearable mockery of international justice," North Korean state media said.

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The North Korean statement attacking the United States comes after state media reported the Floyd case as the "murder of a black person by a white police officer" in Minneapolis.

State media also said protests had erupted to condemn the police's "racist behavior against black people" and that the demonstrations were growing despite curfews.

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North Korea has previously condemned Washington for issuing reports on human rights violations in the country.

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The U.S. Department of State issued its annual report on international religious freedom in April. According to the report, North Korea prohibits the use of religion for "drawing in foreign forces or for harming the state."

"Religious practitioners belong to the 'hostile class,' which limits their access to educational and employment opportunities, as well as other state benefits," the report says.

The United States and North Korea summits have not resumed since 2019. Critics, including former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said the summits helped Pyongyang acquire "de facto nuclear state status," TIME reported Wednesday.

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North Korea has condemned Washington for not moving forward with sanctions relief.

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