US Sanctions Two North Korean Missile Developers

27 December, 2017, 02:23 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • 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 (North Korea) and achieve a fully denuclearized Korean Peninsula", it said in a statement.

In a statement published on Sunday by the state-run KCNA news agency, the North Korean foreign ministry denounced the new United Nations sanctions as "an act of war". Any of their property within USA jurisdiction is blocked and American citizens are generally banned from engaging in transactions with them.

Kim Jong Sik, a veteran rocket scientist, and Ri Pyong Chol, a former senior air force commander, are often seen on television and in photographs with leader Kim Jong Un, walking down the red carpet or sharing a smoke with him to celebrate a successful missile launch. Using solid fuel makes missiles easier to hide before launch.

The sanctions mean any assets the two officials hold in the United States can be confiscated and prohibits Americans from interacting with them.

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Tensions have run high as U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have engaged in a war of words.

In a phone call Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told his US counterpart, Rex Tillerson, that it is "necessary to move from the language of sanctions to the negotiating process as soon as possible", the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement, according to AFP.

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.

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Friday's resolution requires United Nations member states to repatriate North Korean overseas workers within 24 months.

North Korea has reportedly fired 23 missiles since February.

The sanctions follow a number of ballistic missile tests this year, including one in late November.

The third raft of sanctions imposed on the North this year, sparked by last month's ICBM test, also received the backing of China - the North's sole major ally and economic lifeline.

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