U.S. sanctions North Korean officials in response to missile test

The Biden administration on Wednesday slapped sanctions on five North Korean officials in its first response to Pyongyang’s latest ballistic missile test and later announced it will also seek new U.N. sanctions.

The Treasury Department stated that it would impose penalties against the five officials for their involvement in procuring technology and equipment to support North Korea’s missile program. The State Department also issued sanctions against a Russian citizen and another North Korean official for supporting North Korea’s weapon of mass destruction programs.

The Treasury’s actions came hours after North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un conducted a flight test with a hypersonic weapon on Tuesday. He claimed that it would significantly increase its nuclear “war deterrent” capabilities.

Linda Thomas Greenfield, U.S.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. Ambassador, tweeted Wednesday night, that the U.S. has also proposed U.N. sanctions to address North Korea’s six missile launches from September. “Each one of these were in violation UN Security Council resolutions.”

A U.S. diplomat said to CBS News’ Pamela Falk that five people had been designated by Treasury as U.S. sanction candidates. She also stated that “the U.S. continued to coordinate with its partners in preparation for the three additional individuals and entities that State [Department]” has designated to be subject to U.N. Sanctions.” The American diplomat informed Falk that it was the Biden administration’s request to the U.N. North Korea sanctions panel for a decision in a matter of weeks.

One North Korean national targeted by Treasury is located in Russia while four others are in China. They are all accused of providing goods and services, money or goods, to the Second Academy of Natural Sciences in North Korea, which is said by Treasury to be heavily involved with its military defense program.

” The DPRK’s recent missile launches show that the country continues to pursue prohibited programs, despite international calls for denuclearization and diplomacy,” stated Brian Nelson, Treasury’s chief of terrorist and financial intelligence. The acronym of the official name of the North, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was used by Nelson to refer to it. The sanctions impose a ban on Americans doing business with the targeted countries, place assets in U.S. jurisdictions under lock and key and subject individuals and companies to possible penalties for dealings with them.

Shortly before the announcement, North Korea’s state news agency reported that the latest missile launch involved a hypersonic glide vehicle, which after its release from the rocket booster demonstrated “glide jump flight” and “corkscrew maneuvering” before hitting a sea target 621 miles away.

Photos released by the agency showed a missile mounted with a pointed cone-shaped payload soaring into the sky while leaving a trail of orange flames, with Kim watching from a small cabin with top officials, including his sister Kim Yo Jong. This launch marked North Korea’s second attempt to test its hypersonic missile. It was launched in response to international sanctions and pandemic-related problems. Kim Jong Un is continuing his aggressive push for nuclear weapons expansion despite being unable or unwilling to compromise with the United States.

The U.N. Security Council first imposed sanctions against North Korea following its first nuclear attack in 2006. They were made tougher after further tests and the development of its ballistic missile programme. In 2018, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the sanctions had cut off all North Korean exports and 90% of its trade and disbanded the pool of workers which North Korea sent abroad to earn hard currency — but Pyongyang has managed to evade some measures.

Russia andChina circulated in November a draft resolution urging the Security Council end several sanctions on North Korea, including bans on seafood exports and textiles and caps on refined petroleum product imports. They also prohibited citizens from working abroad and sending their income home. These and other sanctions, it said, should be lifted to alleviate the hardships faced by North Korea’s civilian population.

Russia and China are both members with veto rights of the Security Council. It remains to be determined if they support any new sanctions against North Korea.

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