WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – The Biden administration on Wednesday imposed sanctions on five North Korean officials in a first reaction to Pyongyang’s latest ballistic missile test.
The Treasury Department announced that it is fining officials for their role in obtaining equipment and technology for the North’s missile programs. In addition, the State Department ordered sanctions against another North Korean, a Russian person, and a Russian company for their widespread support of North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction activities.
North Korea said the move came hours after its leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday oversaw a successful flight test of a hypersonic missile he claimed would significantly enhance the country’s nuclear “war deterrence”.
Of the five North Koreans targeted by the Treasury, one is based in Russia, while the other four are based in China. All are accused of providing money, goods or services to North Korea’s Second Academy of Natural Sciences, which the Treasury says is heavily involved in the country’s military defense programs.
“The DPRK’s latest missile launches are further evidence that it is pursuing prohibited programs despite calls from the international community for diplomacy and denuclearization,” said Brian Nelson, Treasury’s head of terrorism and financial intelligence. He referred to the North by an abbreviation for its official name: the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The sanctions freeze any assets of the target in US jurisdiction, bar Americans from doing business with them and subject foreign companies and individuals to potential penalties for transactions with them.
Shortly before the announcement, North Korea’s state news agency reported that the latest missile launch involved a hypersonic glide vehicle, which performed a “glide jump flight” before hitting a sea target of 1,000 km (621) after its release from a rocket booster. ” and performed the “corkscrew maneuver”. miles away.
In photos released by the agency, Kim is seen from a small cabin with top officials, including her sister Kim Yo Jong, as Kim soars into the sky with a pointed cone-shaped payload leaving a trail of orange flames Shows a missile.
The launch was North Korea’s second test of its alleged hypersonic missile in a week, a type of weapon it first tested in September, as Kim Jong Un denounced international sanctions, pandemic-related efforts to expand its nuclear weapons capabilities. A defiant push has continued. Difficulties and standoff diplomacy with the United States.