The Obama administration today slapped sanctions on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and 10 other regime officials for their alleged complicity in human rights abuses against the North Korean people.
The move marked the first time Washington sanctioned Kim Jong Un personally. Administration officials said Kim was “ultimately responsible” for what they called “North Korea’s notorious abuses of human rights.”
“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,” Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Adam J. Szubin said in a statement announcing the new action.
“As a result of today’s actions, any property or interest in property of those designated by (Office of Foreign Assets Control) within U.S. jurisdiction is frozen,” the Treasury Department said. “Additionally, transactions by U.S. persons involving the designated persons are generally prohibited.”
The sanctions also extend to five North Korean state entities, including the Ministry of People’s Security, which the report says oversees labor camps and other detention facilities, where torture, execution, rape, starvation and forced labor takes place.
U.S. officials briefing reporters on the new actions say they expected the sanctions to have “a worldwide ripple effect” making it harder for those on the list to do business with global financial institutions.