US sanctions three North Korean officials tied to weapons of mass destruction program


The US Treasury Department on Thursday imposed sanctions on three North Korean officials linked to the country’s weapons of mass destruction program.

The sanctions follow Pyongyang’s missile launches, including the November 18 launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. – the eighth ICBM launch this year.

“The Treasury Department is taking action in close trilateral cooperation with the Republic of Korea and Japan against officials who have played leadership roles in the DPRK’s illicit weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs,” Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in the news release. edition using the abbreviation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“Recent launches demonstrate the need for all countries to fully implement UN Security Council resolutions aimed at preventing the DPRK from acquiring the technology, materials and revenue Pyongyang needs to develop its prohibited WMD and ballistic missile capabilities,” Nelson said.

The US sanctions target Jon Il Ho, Yu Jin and Kim Su Gil, three officials of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK).

In a separate statement, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the European Union (EU) added all three earlier this year, noting that Jonas and Yu were involved in the DPRK’s weapons of mass destruction programs and had participated in numerous ballistic missile launches. and Kim was responsible for implementing WPK decisions related to the DPRK’s illicit development of nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

“These steps also underscore our continued determination to promote accountability in response to the pace, scale and scope of Pyongyang’s ballistic missile launches,” Blinken said.

In a separate announcement on Friday, South Korea said it would impose independent sanctions on eight North Korean individuals and seven organizations linked to Pyongyang’s weapons development program and sanctions evasion.

“Our government will continue to strengthen cooperation with relevant countries to ensure a united and firm response from the international community, including additional sanctions, to North Korea’s serious provocations,” South Korea’s foreign ministry said.

US officials have repeatedly condemned North Korea’s missile launches as violations of United Nations Security Council resolutions and a threat to international peace and stability.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said on Saturday that his country is aiming to have the “world’s most powerful” nuclear force, promoting dozens of troops to take part in the recent launch of a new ballistic missile, state news agency KCNA reported on Sunday.

Pentagon press secretary Gen. Pat Ryder said Tuesday: “We know that North Korea has said it is likely to conduct another nuclear test, which would be very destabilizing.”

“And I think you’ve seen the United States and other countries in the region, including the Republic of Korea and Japan, emphasize the fact that there will be consequences. Again, I won’t go into that. However, we hope that North Korea will not engage in such destabilizing activities,” he said.

The Biden administration has made repeated attempts to communicate directly with North Korea, but Pyongyang has “not responded substantially,” a senior administration official told CNN in early November.

The official said engagement attempts were made through various means, including private bilateral channels, third parties and public announcements.

The official declined to elaborate, citing the sensitivity of the communications, but said Pyongyang had made it “clear that it is not interested in diplomacy.”

The administration is “very confident” that the messages are reaching North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “for a number of reasons, not least because they are publicly stating why they refuse to talk to us.” “, said the official.

“It’s not something where we’re wondering, are our messages getting across, are they reaching the top?” We are very confident because we have seen Kim Jong Un talk about our efforts for dialogue and diplomacy,” they added.

The official wouldn’t say if there was a scenario where the U.S. would stop looking for dialogue without preconditions.

“We believe very fundamentally that dialogue is extremely important, so we have to find ways to understand that they tell us what they’re looking for, and we can tell them what we’re looking for, and we’ll see.” if there are ways to make progress,” the official said. “It is ultimately their decision to refuse to start the process.”


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