US Slaps Personal Sanctions on Kim Jong Un
Regime 'continues to inflict intolerable cruelty on its own people'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2016 12:55 AM CDT
Updated Jul 7, 2016 3:15 AM CDT
The audience at North Korea's ruling party congress earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
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(Newser) – The US has ramped up economic sanctions on North Korea with the first personal sanctions for Kim Jong Un and 10 other officials in a regime Washington says is guilty of "intolerable cruelty." This is the first time North Korean officials have been personally sanctioned for human rights abuses that the US says includes the holding of 80,000 to 120,000 people—including children and other family members of accused people—in political prison camps, the AP reports. "Under Kim Jong Un, North Korea continues to inflict intolerable cruelty and hardship on millions of its own people, including extrajudicial killings, forced labor, and torture," Treasury official Adam Szubin said in a statement.

The latest sanctions were timed to coincide with the release of a new State Department report on the sickening rights abuses in North Korea, reports the BBC, which notes that dictators including Moammar Gadhafi also had personal sanctions imposed on them. American officials say that while the largely symbolic sanctions probably won't stop Kim, they are still the right thing to do. "These efforts send a clear message—not just to the senior leaders, but also prison camp managers and guards, censors, secret police, interrogators, and persecutors of defectors—the world is documenting your abuses, and they will not be forgotten," US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said in a statement. (Spies say Kim has become fat, drunk, and paranoid.)