US Imposes Human RIghts Sanctions on North Korea, Yonhap Goes Nuclear, What’ll Ban Ki-moon Say?

UNITED NATIONS, July 6 ( -- The US State Department today released its North Korea human rights report, and held an embargoed press call on it. The last of the few questions from was South Korea's Yonhap News, which asked if the human rights sanctions might help on the nuclear issue. (This seems unlikely; ICP asks what Ban Ki-moon, coyly appearing to run for South Korean president, will say about these new sanctions and the inevitable response.)

Here is the US State Department's press release, the report is also on censorship, ironic with regard to the UN:

"Today, as part of our efforts to promote accountability, we are releasing a report identifying North Korean officials and entities responsible for or associated with serious human rights abuses or censorship.  In conjunction with this report, the Department of the Treasury has added North Korean persons to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons list.  Both actions are consistent with the requirements of the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016.

Human rights abuses in the DPRK are among the worst in the world.  The government continues to commit extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrest and detention, forced labor, and torture.  Many of these abuses are committed in the political prison camps, where an estimated 80,000 to 120,000 individuals are detained, including children and family members of the accused.

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 DPRK, and we will continue to identify more individuals and entities in future reports.  With these efforts, we aim to send a signal to all government officials who might be responsible for human rights abuses, including prison camp managers and guards, interrogators, and defector chasers, with the goal of changing their behavior."

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