The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on 10 North Korean officials over human rights abuses and censorship.
It’s the latest step in a U.S. effort to increase diplomatic and economic pressure on Pyongyang.
The action announced Thursday came as the State Department released a report on dire human rights conditions in the isolated nation said to include extrajudicial killings, forced labor and rape.
The department says many of the North Korean rights abuses underwrite its nuclear weapons program, including revenues it derives from overseas laborers.
The 10 designated officials include the commander of the Military Security Command, Jo Kyong-Chol, and the minister of labor, Jong Yong Su. The action blocks them from holding any U.S. assets and prevents people in the U.S. from having dealings with them.