**Rights Groups Urge Kerry to Address China's Human Rights**
Human rights groups are urging U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to raise the treatment of dissidents and other rights concerns during his upcoming visit to China, expected to be dominated by talks on North Korea.
Several groups, including Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders, said in a letter to Kerry this week that they fear human rights concerns have been sacrificed, as Washington pursues economic opportunities in China and seeks Beijing's support on North Korea other international concerns.
The letter said that as much as China resists outside pressure to improve its rights record, Beijing does appear to respond to such pressure.
It accused the Chinese government of increasing the persecution of domestic critics, pursuing abusive policies in Tibet and Xinjiang and imposing restrictions on civil society, freedom of expression and the Internet.
The letter said Kerry's visit was a crucial moment to signal to China that the quality of U.S.-China relations will depend in part on whether it lives by universally accepted human rights norms in its domestic and foreign policies。
** Amid Worries Over NKorean Missile Test, Kerry Arrives in Seoul**
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived Friday in Seoul, amid concern North Korea will soon conduct another provocative missile test.
Kerry will hold talks with South Korean officials, including President Park Geun-hye during his visit. He will also meet with U.S. military commanders based in the country.
His visit comes as speculation increased that North Korea is preparing to test a mid-range missile to demonstrate its ability to hit U.S. targets in the region.
A U.S. official in Seoul said there is no sign of an imminent launch of the North's Musudan missile, which is believed to have a range of 3,500 kilometers and could threaten U.S. bases in Japan or Guam.
Some believe Pyongyang will coordinate the headline-grabbing missile test with Kerry's arrival. Seoul has said it expects the test to occur in the run-up to Monday's birthday celebration of North Korean founding leader Kim Il Sung.
Meanwhile, U.S. officials are downplaying a U.S. intelligence report disclosed Thursday that suggested Pyongyang has succeeded miniaturizing a nuclear weapon.
The analysis, disclosed by a congressman Thursday during a routine budget hearing, said Washington defense officials are moderately confident the North has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles.