• US To Tackle N. Korea's Nuclear, Human Rights Issues Simultaneously
U.S. International Religious Freedom Senior Official Dan Nadel (Photo: AP-Yonhap News)

A senior U.S. State Department official says Washington will continue to address the North Korean nuclear issue while also pushing for improved human rights conditions.

Daniel Nadel said Wednesday, "We can do all of these things at once, and in doing so, we both demonstrate the importance of our fundamental principles."

During a telephonic press conference, he explained if these issues are not handled together, "the possibilities for lasting peace and stability in the region are, in our view, reduced."

His remarks came after the State Department published its annual international religious freedom report, which noted that the North Korean regime continued to "strictly restrict" people of their religious freedoms in 2020.

Nadel also stressed the importance of a free flow of information into North Korea in response to questions related to South Korea's anti-leafleting law that prohibits sending propaganda across the inter-Korean border.

But he said the U.S. understands the concerns South Korea has in relation to the safety of its people.

The official added that the U.S. seeks to use a "number of different means" to transmit information to people in closed societies.

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