North Korea: U.S. will 'pay dearly' if human rights criticism continues

There were no weapons tests this time, but North Korea once again made some trans-Pacific waves Saturday.

Pyongyang’s state news agency, KCNA, issued a statement attributed to a foreign ministry spokesman warning the United States in response to Washington’s recent decision to join several other states in condemning North Korea’s human rights abuses in an annual United Nations General Assembly resolution Wednesday. The KCNA statement said if the U.S. continued to call out North Korea’s human rights problems, Washington would “pay dearly.”

It’s not clear what exactly the threat entails, but it does seem to fall in line with Pyongyang’s rhetoric of late that indicates North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un is gearing up to throw the possibility of diplomacy out of the window unless the U.S. makes some denuclearization concessions soon.

It’s the first statement from North Korea’s foreign ministry since U.S. Special Envoy Stephen Biegun publicly urged Pyongyang to resume diplomacy, a sentiment echoed by Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Friday. But it doesn’t look like North Korea is ready to budge. Read more at Reuters.

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