The United States sanctioned North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the first time accusing him of human rights abuse. On Wednesday, the Obama administration announced the blacklisting of Kim and top officials in his reclusive government as he aggressively moves forward with his nuclear and ballistic missile programs despite warnings.
The U.S. Treasury named Kim directly responsible for violations in his country, leading to the freeze of any property the leader or the ten other top North Korean officials have in the U.S. The human rights sanctions also barred the North Koreans named in the statement from carrying out any transactions with any American citizen.
"Under Kim Jong-un, North Korea continues to inflict intolerable cruelty and hardship on millions of its own people, including extrajudicial killings, forced labour, and torture," the Treasury statement said.
Along with the sanctions, a State Department report was also issued documenting abuses in North Korea.
“The report represents the most comprehensive U.S. government effort to date to name those responsible for or associated with the worst aspects of the North Korean government’s repression, including serious human rights abuses and censorship in the D.P.R.K. (North Korea), and we will continue to identify more individuals and entities in future reports,” John Kirby, the State Department spokesman, said in a statement accompanying the report.
North Korea already faces economic sanctions from the United Nations after the country conducted its fourth nuclear test in January.