A U.S. envoy says human rights in North Korea are a top American priority and addressing them would have a significant impact on prospects for closer ties.
Special envoy on North Korean human rights Robert King made the comments Monday during a visit to South Korea for talks.
North Korea has long been regarded as having one of the world's worst human rights records. It bristles at outside criticism regarding the issue, calling it part of a U.S.-led plot to topple its government.
King traveled to North Korea in May with specialists to examine the severity of the country's food shortage.