The United States has sanctioned North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. It is the first time ever that the North Korean leader has been directly become a target of sanctions.
According to reports, the US cited “notorious human rights abuses” as the reason behind the sanctions. But experts say that the move will further infuriate the reclusive nuclear-armed country.
AP Photo/Kyodo News
The US Treasury Department said in a statement that the sanctions are the first against any North Korean and includes 10 other individuals and five government ministries and departments.
The sanctions mean that Kim and those named in the sanctions are now pariah to any US citizen who want to do business with them. Their assets in the US, if any, are now frozen.
“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 Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Adam J. Szubin said in the statement.
US has placed Kim at the top of a list of those accused of censorship and serious human rights abuses. According to the US State Department North Korea’s political prisoner camps hold between 80,000 and 120,000 prisoners including children. A principal reason why the US sanctioned Kim is because of North Korea’s nuclear tests. But the US administration pointed out that though previous sanctions on the country were because of Pyongyang’s nuclear programme, the one issued of Kim and the others shows Washington’s seriousness about rights abuses.