Washington mentioned the step was taken in “shut coordination” with South Korea and Japan
The US authorities has imposed sanctions on three senior North Korean officers, accusing them of direct involvement within the nation’s “illegal” ballistic missile program whereas denouncing Pyongyang for its document variety of weapons exams this yr.
The Treasury Division unveiled the brand new penalties on Thursday, designating Jon Il Ho, Yu Jin and Kim Su Gil “for being officers of the [Workers’ Party of Korea]” and their alleged ties to the “improvement of weapons of mass destruction.”
“These actions observe the DPRK’s unprecedented launch of over 60 ballistic missiles this yr, together with the take a look at of a number of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs),” Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned in a assertion, noting that the US labored “in shut coordination” with Tokyo and Seoul in devising the sanctions.
Although Jon and Yu have been mentioned to have performed “main roles” in North Korea’s missile program, the Treasury didn’t specify how they have been concerned, solely stating that they had “personally attended quite a few ballistic missile launches” since 2017.
Kim, in the meantime, purportedly oversaw selections associated to weapons of mass destruction whereas serving as director of the military’s Common Political Bureau between 2018 and 2021. Having left that place almost one yr in the past, nonetheless, the division provided few particulars as to why Kim was included within the newest sanctions.
The South Korean International Ministry mentioned it had introduced penalties towards seven different individuals on Thursday in response to “escalating North Korean nuclear and missile threats.” A Taiwanese and Singaporean citizen have been included on Seoul’s blacklist, every of whom are already below American sanctions. Japan additionally designated one particular person and three entities allegedly linked to the North Korean authorities.
Whereas Washington has decried this yr’s weapons exams and nonetheless insists that North Korea should surrender its complete nuclear arsenal, Pyongyang maintains that its missile program is for defensive functions solely. The DPRK, in flip, has repeatedly condemned joint US-South Korean navy drills within the area, deeming them preparations for an assault and arguing its missile, rocket and artillery demonstrations are a justified response.