- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 10, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. is urging North Korea to respect intellectual property rights after an unauthorized stage performance of Disney characters at a concert for the reclusive country’s new young leader.

But State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said Tuesday that since Washington does not have diplomatic relations with Pyongyang it could not raise the issue as it would in other countries.

He broadly urged North Korea to meet its international obligations.

North Korean state TV this week showed performers dressed as Minnie Mouse, Tigger and other characters dancing against a backdrop of footage from Disney movies, an unusual departure for the isolated nation. New leader Kim Jong Un has sought to project an image of youth and modernity.

The Walt Disney Co. says it did not authorize the performance.

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