October 20, 2021

EU hits North Korea with human rights-related sanctions for the first time

Sanctions name heads of North Korea’s police for state-sponsored murder, torture and forced labor

A top European Union body has slapped North Korea with sanctions for allegedly torturing and killing people and as well as conducting “widespread” forced labor. The move marks the first time the EU has explicitly named DPRK officials for human rights-related crimes.

The European Council (EC) announced the new sanctions designations on Monday, which are adopted under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime (passed in Dec. 2020 and unofficially known as the EU Magnitsky Act). In addition to North Korea, they include individuals and entities from China, Libya, Eritrea, South Sudan and Russia.