US targets North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction program with sanctions

Washington continues to pressure Pyongyang for new ballistic missile launches

The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on two Russian banks, a North Korean company and a person accused of supporting North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction program.

Washington’s latest move to pressure Pyongyang over its new ballistic missile launches came a day after China and Russia vetoed US-led pressure to impose more UN sanctions United with North Korea.

The vetoes publicly split the UN Security Council for the first time since it began punishing North Korea in 2006.

According to the United States, North Korea has launched six intercontinental ballistic missile tests this year, and there are signs that Pyongyang is preparing to carry out its first nuclear tests since 2017.

The US Treasury Department said it was targeting Air Koryo Trading Corp as well as Russian financial firms for helping with procurement and revenue generation for North Korean organizations.

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Washington also sanctioned Jong Yong Nam, a representative of an organization subordinate to North Korea’s Second Academy of Natural Sciences, which the United States says supports North Korean companies linked to ballistic missile development.

“The United States will continue to implement and enforce existing sanctions while urging [North Korea] to return to diplomatic channels and abandon its search for weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles,” said U.S. Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson.

Ryan H. Bowman