U.S. sanctions three North Korean officials for alleged rights abuses
The United States said on Monday it had sanctioned three North Korean officials, including a top aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, for serious human rights abuses and censorship.
The U.S. Treasury named the men as Ryong Hae Choe, an aide close to Kim who leads the Workers’ Party of Korea Organization and Guidance Department; State Security Minister Kyong Thaek Jong; and Propaganda and Agitation Department head Kwang Ho Pak.
It was not clear whether the decision to sanction the three men was related to U.S.-North Korean nuclear diplomacy, which has made little obvious progress since Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump met in Singapore in June.
The sanctions, which freeze any assets the officials may have under U.S. jurisdiction and generally bar them from transactions with anyone in the United States, were announced as the U.S. State Department released a six-monthly report on North Korean abuses.