Korean Officials Allegedly Involved in Ballistic Missile Program

27 December, 2017, 02:38 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Russia: US 'Aggressive Rhetoric' on North Korea Fueling Tensions

"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 T. Mnuchin said in the statement, referring to the North by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The department also sanctioned Ri Pyong Chol, who it said was "reported to be a key official" in the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

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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 United States officials said appeared capable of reaching NY or Washington.

Under the new sanctions, any property or interests in property of the two men within US jurisdiction are blocked, and transactions by USA persons involving the designated persons are generally prohibited, the statement said.

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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.

Just days ago, stricter United Nations sanctions were meted out against North Korea, something Pyongyang angrily branded an "act of war". The resolution put a cap on the country's crude oil imports and limits imports of refined oil products. 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.

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They were both among 16 North Koreans placed under United Nations sanctions on Friday. It passed unanimously with backing from China and Russian Federation, two veto-wielding council members that have traditionally been reluctant to increase sanctions on Pyongyang. The resolution adopted by the council also demands the repatriation of all North Koreans working overseas within 24 months. It also prohibits the export of certain items including machinery, electrical equipment and wood.

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