The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has expanded sanctions against North Korea to target officials – including Kim Jong Un – and entities associated to the North’s human rights violations, a Treasury Department press release announced Wednesday.
The purpose of these sanctions, which allege human rights violations linked to the very top of North Korea’s leadership, were described as Washington’s “efforts to expose those responsible for serious human rights abuses and censorship in North Korea.”
OFAC designated for sanctions “all of the individuals and entities named” in the U.S. State Department’s Report on Serious Human Rights Abuses or Censorship in North Korea, “in accordance with the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016.”
The update to OFAC’s list of “Specially Designated Nationals” includes 11 North Korean individuals and five entities. The sanctions officially freeze “any property or interest in property of those designated by OFAC within U.S. jurisdiction” and prohibit “transactions by U.S. persons involving the designated persons.”
Among the 11 newly designated individuals is North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and of the recently established State Affairs Commission.
Adam J. Szubin, acting under secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said in a statement that the actions taken by the U.S. government “highlight the U.S. Government’s condemnation of this regime’s abuses and our determination to see them stopped.”
The five entities newly designated are: the Ministry of People’s Security (MPS), North Korea’s internal law-enforcement and security force; the MPS Correctional Bureau, responsible for operating North Korea’s regular prisons; the Ministry of State Security (MSS), also known as the State Security Department (SSD), responsible for the regime’s political security; the MSS Prisons Bureau, responsible for operating the North’s system of political prison camps; the Organization and Guidance Department (OGD), responsible for directing personnel appointments within the WPK and with oversight in many political affairs in the regime.
The 10 newly designated individuals aside from Kim Jong Un include: Cho Il U, director of the Fifth Bureau of the Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB, the North’s military spy agency), sanctioned for “operations to harm anti-North Korean defectors”; Jo Yon Jun, former first deputy director of the OGD; Choe Chang Pong, director of the Investigation Bureau of MPS; Choe Pu Il, minister of People’s Security and commander of the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces; Kang Song Nam, bureau director in the MSS; Kim Ki Nam, director of the WPK Propaganda and Agitation Department; Kim Kyong Ok, first deputy director of the OGD; O Chong Ok, director of the First Bureau of the RGB; Ri Jae Il, first deputy director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department; and Ri Song Chol, counselor in the MPS.
Main picture: Rodong Sinmun
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Featured Image: The US treasury department by soham_pablo on 2014-06-01 02:47:39