United States sanctions North Korean officials involved in ballistic missile program

27 December, 2017, 02:34 | Author: Katrina Soto
  • Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump

Last month the nuclear-armed country reached a significant milestone in the development of its growing arsenal when it tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that USA officials said appeared capable of reaching NY or Washington. The department says Kim Jong-sik, a veteran rocket scientist, is a key figure responsible for advancing the program to a point where the regime is successfully testing ICBMs capable of reaching the US mainland.

Already, the Treasury Department has added eight North Korean banks and more than two dozen North Korean nationals working in countries like China, Russia and Libya to its sanctions list.

The United States imposed sanctions Tuesday on two North Korean officials who are considered key to their country's development of ballistic missiles.

The United Nations Security Council last week passed yet another series of sanctions to punish North Korea for its missile test in November and its threats to the U.S. In return, Pyongyang called the sanctions an "act of war" by Trump's "frenzied" administration.

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The new United States sanctions will block any transactions by the two men carried out in the U.S., essentially freezing any American assets they may have. The resolution put a cap on the country's crude oil imports and limits imports of refined oil products. A Reuters investigation said a few months ago that the men were picked for the program by North Korea's leader. He added that the move followed the UN Security Council (UNSC) passing another resolution on December 22, which imposed additional restrictions on Pyongyang over its recent missile test. North Korea is also known to employ deceptive shipping practices, including ship-to-ship transfers.

All North Korean nationals working overseas made to return home within 24 months, restricting a vital source of foreign currency.

North Korea on Tuesday encouraged its people to thoroughly study an address delivered by its leader Kim Jong-un last week, calling for a fight to root out "non-socialist" elements in the society, its state-run media reported.

A ban on exports of North Korean goods, such as machinery and electrical equipment.

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