U.S. senator welcomes sanctions on N.K. leader’s sister

WASHINGTON, -- A U.S. senator welcomed the recent blacklisting of the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and other top officials for their human rights violations, saying Pyongyang's human rights record is as much a concern as its nuclear and missile programs.

On Wednesday, the State and Treasury departments imposed sanctions on Kim Yo-jong, the leader's younger sister and vice director of the Workers Party's Propaganda and Agitation Department, as well as six other officials and two agencies for their roles in human rights abuses.

"Sanctions are a powerful tool in the American diplomatic arsenal, and we wield them to send a clear signal to despotic and authoritarian leaders who harm their own people or sow instability around the world -- and to give hope to the oppressed that they do not stand alone," Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) said in a statement.

"Kim Jong-un must understand that his regime's human rights record is every bit as much a concern as his nuclear and missile programs and that his actions will not go unnoticed or unchecked. The United States and our allies are watching, and the international community is committed to containing a North Korea that prioritizes weapons over the well-being of its citizens," he said.

It was the second time the U.S. has imposed human rights sanctions on the North after blacklisting leader Kim, 10 other top officials and five state agencies in July, which marked the first-ever sanctions ever imposed on the North's leader.

The sanctions underscore Washington's determination to keep pressure on Pyongyang, which has aggressively been pursuing nuclear weapons and its delivery systems at the expense of the well-being of the country's 24 million hunger-stricken population.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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