The United States has imposed sanctions on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and 10 other of his regime officials for their alleged complicity in human rights abuses against the citizens.
It is the first time when Washington has personally slapped sanctions on the reclusive North Korean regime.
The sanctions also extend to five North Korean state entities, including the Ministry of People’s Security, which oversees labor camps and other detention facilities. Choe Pu Il, the Minister of People’s Security was also named in the list, along with several top officials.
The officials in the Obama administration said Kim was “ultimately responsible” for what they called “North Korea’s notorious abuses of human rights,” reported CNN.
“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 on Wednesday.
As part of the sanctions, Washington has decided to freeze any property of the blacklisted officials that comes under the U.S. jurisdiction and also prohibited transactions by U.S. nationals to any of the designated persons.
“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.
Additionally, transactions by U.S. persons involving the designated persons are generally prohibited,” the Treasury Department said.
The officials said 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.
The officials also noted that this was the first time many of the North Korean officials involved have been publicly named.
North Korea is already a subject to heavy U.S. sanctions for its past nuclear and missile activities.