>> Washington is blacklisting Pyongyang and this time it's not about nukes. The US slapping sanctions specifically on leader Kim Jong Un for the first time, plus a handful of other North Korean officials for human rights abuses. The sanctions would make them radioactive to banks and companies in the US and freeze their assets there.
Reuters' James Pearson, explains the thinking behind the move.>> It's not necessarily gonna have that much effect. I can't think of many businessmen in America for example, who would have a direct business relationship with Kim Jong Un. The key here really is naming Kim Jong Un by name, publicly for the first time.
>> South Korea has welcomed the sanctions, saying they'll step up pressure on Pyongyang to improve its human rights record. But analysts say, the North is likely to react with fury, after its leader was named and shamed.>> This is something that in North Korea where his name, his image is treated with a kind of godlike respect, it's gonna be taken very, very seriously.
Indeed, in 2014, when the United Nations suggested that Kim Jung Un maybe held accountable for human rights abuses, we saw the North Korean diplomats, and officials, and even state media responded very, very, very strongly. Analysts basically expect the same thing to happen this time.>> The US says North Korea's human rights abuses are up there with the worst in the world.
And include forced labor, disappearances, and torture, much of it happening inside camps for political prisoners. Analysts say the blacklist is a sign the US may have given up for now on engaging the isolated state. Because sanctioning a country's leader can destroy any lingering hope of a diplomatic solution