United States sanctions two N Koreans over missile program: statement

27 December, 2017, 02:51 | Author: Marjorie Miles
  • Russia: US 'Aggressive Rhetoric' on North Korea Fueling Tensions

The sanctions by the Treasury Department mean that any assets the two men hold in the United States can be seized and that Americans are prohibited from dealing with them.

The younger sister of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un appears to have cemented her position at the heart of his inner circle after making a rare public appearance seated next to top officials at a ruling Worker's Party congress.

North Korea has been heavily sanctioned by the United Nations over its recent launches and is now banned from any weapons tests using ballistic missile technology.

"Treasury is targeting leaders of North Korea's ballistic missile programs, as part of our maximum pressure campaign to isolate the DPRK and achieve a fully denuclearized Korean Peninsula", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.

Kim Jong Sik, the Deputy Director of the Workers' Party of Korea Military Industry Department and Ri Pyong Chol, First Vice Department Director of the Workers' Party of Korea Central Committee were both added to OFAC's sanctions list.

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Scheduled after North Korea said it detonated a hydrogen bomb underground Sunday, the emergency session comes six days after the council strongly condemned Pyongyang's "outrageous" launch of a ballistic missile over Japan. North Korea called the move "an act of war" and threatened to "make sure" that all those, who supported the resolution, would "pay [a] heavy price for what they have done".

North Korea is believed to have successfully put a satellite into orbit in December 2012 after years of failures dating back to 1998.

North Korea has been hit with many sanctions in recent months. Under his supervision, the program has been transformed from a slew of failed rocket launches to the successful testing of intercontinental ballistic missiles that can be armed with nuclear weapons and are capable of reaching the USA mainland.

Pyongyang launched its Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite in February 2016, which much of the worldwide community viewed as a disguised ballistic missile test. China, which accounts for more than 90 percent of North Korea's trade, banned coal imports this year. North Korea is also known to employ deceptive shipping practices, including ship-to-ship transfers. The report also mentions that Kim Jong-sik is a rocket scientist while Ri Pyong-chol is a former air force general.

The council could look to sanction other profitable North Korean exports, such as textiles.



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