BEIJING (Reuters) - China's foreign ministry said on Thursday that it opposed the use of unilateral sanctions after the United States announced sanctions on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the first time, citing human rights abuses.

Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the comments at a daily news briefing.

China has signed up for tough United Nations sanctions against nuclear-armed North Korea, but has opposed past unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States.

(Reporting by Megha Rajagopalan; Writing by Ben Blanchard)