UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hopes China will urge North Korea to cooperate internationally on human rights, his spokesman said on Thursday, after the United States sanctioned North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for rights abuses.

"The Secretary-General believes that discussion of human rights concerns allows for a more comprehensive assessment and action when addressing security and stability concerns on the Korean Peninsula," U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

Washington blacklisted Kim for the first time on Wednesday in a move diplomats say will infuriate the nuclear-armed country.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by James Dalgleish)