Dec 11, 2018 08:15 Asia/Tehran
  • Choe Ryong Hae number two North Korean official
    Choe Ryong Hae number two North Korean official

US administration sanctions 3 senior North Korean officials while Washington claims reached better relations with Pyongyang.

Iran Press/Asia: The United States Treasury Department announced on Monday that three senior North Korean officials sanctioned for what it claims alleged human right violations and abuses also state-sponsored censorship activities.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control will impose sanctions on Choe Ryong Hae, Number Two official for the Workers’ Party of Korea and director of the party's Organization and Guidance Department, Pak Kwang Ho, director of improvement Department, In addition, North Korea's Minister of State Security Jong Kyong Thaek.

“Treasury is sanctioning senior North Korean officials who direct departments that perpetrate the state-sponsored censorship activities, human rights violations and abuses, and other abuses in order to suppress and control the population,” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

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The sanctions comes as the United States and North Korea continue to work toward a second possible summit meeting between Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump in the first half of 2019.

The two leaders met in a historic encounter on June 12 in Singapore, marking the first-ever meeting between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader.

 

Amid the stepped up diplomacy between the two sides this year, which has included four visits by Mike Pompeo, now Trump’s secretary of state and formerly director of the Central Intelligence Agency, it seems that relations between North Korea and the US are worsening.

Endless US criticism against Pyongyang, permanent provocative actions like sanctions on North Korea and continuation of accusation and claims against North Korea for nuclear activity has led to creation of mistrust atmosphere between US and North Korea and stopped the peace talks.

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North Korea on the last US imposed sanctions declared that US President Donald Trump is blocking progress in inter-Korean relations and Washington is playing a "double game".

In August 28, North Korea warned US that talks on nuclear disarmament are in jeopardy after the United States pulled out of a planned visit to discuss the process.

This time the sanctions announcement comes as US President Donald Trump floats the idea of a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. And it immediately follows a failed US attempt to hold a UN meeting on Pyongyang's human rights record, a setback that illustrates the Trump administration's struggle to maintain international support for its maximum pressure campaign to push North Korea toward denuclearization.

 

 

The sanctions announcement could be an attempt to gain leverage for the next summit. 205/103

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