USA sanctions two more North Korean officials over ballistic missile programme

USA sanctions two more North Korean officials over ballistic missile programme

The two officials were listed last Friday in a new United Nations Security Council resolution sanctioning North Korea, it said.

"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.

A road map formulated by Moscow and Beijing, which would involve North Korea stopping work on its missile programme in exchange for the United States and South Korea halting large-scale war games, was a way to gradually reduce tensions, wrote Putin.

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

Both men are regularly photographed alongside North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at missile launches.

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

Trump habitually refers to Kim as "Little Rocket Man" and has threatened to utterly destroy his regime with "fire and fury".




Washington is continuing to ramp up rhetoric against Pyongyang over Kim's obsessive pursuit of nuclear weapons and repeated missile tests.

In a phone call Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told his USA 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.

Putin, who is due to attend a summit of the BRICS nations in China next week, wrote in an article published on the Kremlin's web site ahead of his trip that he favoured negotiations with North Korea instead.

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

It also bans imports of North Korean food, agricultural products, minerals, machinery and electrical equipment to deprive the regime of at least US$200 million in annual export revenues.

North Korea has reportedly fired 23 missiles since February. Their income is believed to be extorted by Pyongyang to fund the nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

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