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US to release second blacklist of N. Korean human rights violators

The United States will soon release a second list of North Korean officials and entities to be sanctioned for their involvement in human rights violations, a senior state department official said Friday.

Scott Busby, deputy assistant secretary for democracy, human rights and labor, made the remark during a seminar held by the non-governmental Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) in Washington D.C., saying they are at the stage of trimming the list.

In October, Busby said they were working on the list with a hope of releasing it in December. 

The US imposed sanctions on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and other senior officials, for human rights abuses in July. It was the first time the US had imposed direct sanctions against the North Korean leader, and the designation also marked the first US sanctions on Pyongyang over its human rights abuses.

Referring to the second list to be released, Busby said it is a strong and clear message to those responsible for human rights violations that they will be held accountable, whether they be high-ranking officials or guards working at prison camps.

North Korea has long been labeled as one of the worst human rights violators in the world. The reclusive regime does not tolerate dissent, holds hundreds of thousands of people in political prison camps and keeps tight control over outside information. 

But the North has bristled at such criticism, calling it a U.S.-led attempt to topple its regime. (Yonhap) 

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