Kerry singles out N.Korea for Internet abuse, calls for global focus on open and secure Web

Features Associated Press

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is singling out North Korea for repressing its citizens' use of the Internet, calling open and secure cyber access a global right.

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Kerry told students Monday at prestigious Korea University that authoritarian Pyongyang, with the lowest rate of access to the Web in the world, was the opposite of ultra-wired, democratic Seoul.

Kerry linked poor Internet freedom to questionable human rights and a stifled economy without innovation or freely exchanged ideas.

Washington accuses Pyongyang of being behind last year's massive hack of Sony Pictures over a film that centered on the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Seoul also says Pyongyang has staged a series of hacks on major South Korean companies and government organizations. Pyongyang denies the hacking claims.