The US has said it is consulting with regional partners about the internal situation in North Korea after the execution of leader Kim Jong Un's uncle
A State Department spokeswoman said the execution of Jang Song Thaek, announced today, underscored the brutality of the nation's authoritarian government and its dire human rights record.
North Korea's state-run media said Jang had been executed as a traitor. He was long considered the country's second most powerful figure.
The spokeswoman said Washington is focused on the need for North Korea to denuclearise.
She said the US would deepen its discussions with allies South Korea and Japan, and Russia and China, its partners in long-stalled aid-for-disarmament negotiations with the North.