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U.S. imposes sanctions on 3 N.K. officials

All News 03:17 December 11, 2018

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10 (Yonhap) -- The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on three North Korean officials, including a top aide to leader Kim Jong-un, in response to their alleged human rights abuses and censorship.

Choe Ryong-hae, who is seen as the No. 2 official in the regime, was designated for being an official of the ruling Workers' Party, the Department of the Treasury said in a statement.

Choe is director of the party's Organization and Guidance Department, which is "instrumental in implementing censorship policies, and purports to control the political affairs of all North Koreans," it said.

The other two officials are Minister of State Security Jong Kyong-thaek and Pak Kwang-ho, director of the party's Propaganda and Agitation Department.

The sanctions freeze their property or interests within the U.S. and ban their transactions with U.S. citizens.

"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," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.

"These sanctions demonstrate the United States' ongoing support for freedom of expression, and opposition to endemic censorship and human rights abuses," he added.


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