The U.S. Treasury Department announced the imposition of sanctions on Monday against three senior North Korean leaders, citing human rights abuses and country-wide censorship.
The Treasury Dept said they were in the honor of 22-year-old Otto Warmbier, the U.S. college student who died last year after being released from a North Korean labor camp.
According to a press release, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control will impose sanctions against Choe Ryong Hae, Secretariat of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Pak Kwang Ho, Director of the Korean Workers’ Party’s Propaganda and Agitation Department, and Jong Kyong Thaek, Minister of State Security.
“Treasury is sanctioning senior North Korean officials who direct departments that perpetrate the regime’s brutal state-sponsored censorship activities, human rights violations and abuses, and other abuses in order to suppress and control the population. These sanctions demonstrate the United States’ ongoing support for freedom of expression, and opposition to endemic censorship and human rights abuses,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
“The United States has consistently condemned the North Korean regime for its flagrant and egregious abuses of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and this Administration will continue to take action against human rights abusers around the globe.”