In response to North Korea’s atrocious human rights record, the United States has placed additional sanctions on North Korean officials and entities. As a result of these actions, any property or interest in property of those designated by Office of Foreign Asset Control, or OFAC, within U.S. jurisdiction is frozen.
In particular, OFAC designated Kim Won Hong, the Minister of State Security. The Ministry of State Security, or MMS, engages in beatings, forced starvation, sexual assault, forced abortions, and infanticide in the country’s network of political prison camps. Kim Won Hong plays a role directing these abuses.
Kim Il-Nam is the Chief of the South Hamgyong Province branch of the MSS and is involved in the management of the Yodok political prison camp located within this province.
Kim Yo Jong is the Vice Director of the Workers’ Party of Korea Propaganda and Agitation Department. It is North Korea’s primary agency responsible for both newspaper and broadcast censorship. Choe Hwi is also a Vice Director of the PAD, and he has reportedly been responsible for maintaining ideological purity and managing the general censorship functions of the PAD.
Min Byong Chol – reportedly known as the “angel of death” for his record of political inspections and purges – is a member of the Worker’s Party of Korea’s Organization and Guidance Department. Jo Yong-Won is the Vice Director of the Organization and Guidance Department and a member of the Workers’ Party of Korea Central Committee which helps implement North Korea’s censorship policies.
Kang P’il-Hun is the Director of the General Political Bureau of the Ministry of People’s Security. This ministry operates a network of police stations, interrogation and detention centers, and labor camps throughout North Korea and uses interrogations to degrade, intimidate, and torture their citizens.
OFAC also identified the State Planning Commission and Ministry of Labor as agencies, instrumentalities, or controlled entities of the government of North Korea. The Ministry of Labor assigns laborers to specific sectors, including the mining sector, in accordance with the State Planning Commission’s labor allocation plans. The entities work together to implement an economic system that relies on forced labor.
These latest sanctions expose individuals associated with serious human rights abuses and censorship and underscore the U.S. government’s commitment to promoting accountability for such abuses in North Korea.