US sanctions Kim Jong Un for human rights abuses

US sanctions Kim Jong Un for human rights abuses
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North Korean leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong Un'Containment-plus' must be Washington's and Seoul's policy for North Korea Overnight Defense: Biden nets military family endorsements | Final debate features North Korea exchange | Judge refuses to dismiss sexual assault case against top general Biden: Obama wouldn't 'legitimize' North Korea with meeting MORE and several of his deputies were sanctioned Wednesday by the Treasury Department for human rights abuses, the first sanctions to name Kim specifically.

Issued through the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, the announcement bars Kim, 10 other North Korean officials and five government entities from any financial transactions with the U.S.


Kim took over the Pyongyang government in 2011 after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il.

“Under Kim Jong Un, North Korea continues to inflict intolerable cruelty and hardship on millions of its own people, including extrajudicial killings, forced labor, and torture,” said Adam J. Szubin, the Treasury's acting undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. 

“The actions taken today by the Administration under an Act of Congress highlight the U.S. Government’s condemnation of this regime’s abuses and our determination to see them stopped,” Szubin said in a statement.

Wednesday’s sanction came after the release of a State Department report documenting “extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrest and detention, forced labor, and torture,” along with strict censorship, according to a State Department spokesperson.

The report also claimed that roughly 80,000 to 120,000 North Koreans languish in prison camps run by the government, where they face “torture, execution, rape, starvation, forced labor, and lack of medical care.”

The spokesperson called the report “the most comprehensive U.S. government effort to date” to name the people and entities behind North Korea’s human rights abuses. 

North Korea has faced a slew of sanctions after repeated nuclear missile tests and aggression toward the U.S. 

President Obama in February signed a bill to bolster sanctions on North Korea, and Wednesday’s action was intended to carry out that law along with two executive orders targeting the regime, according to the Treasury Department.