March 22, 2018

State Division delivers blunt response to North Korean missile launch

28 December 2017, 12:48 | Marta Robbins

US sanctions two North Korean officials over missile prog: US Treasury Dept.

US sanctions 2 North Korean officials over missile program

The United States is imposing new North Korea sanctions that target top officials responsible for missile development.

Last month the nuclear-armed country reached a significant milestone in the development of its growing arsenal when it tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that USA officials said appeared capable of reaching NY or Washington.

Another possibility could be tighter limits on North Korean laborers overseas; the recent sanctions barred giving any new permits for such workers.

The United States on Tuesday sanctioned two senior North Korean officials for their involvement in the regime's illicit ballistic missile program.

Scheduled after North Korea said it detonated a hydrogen bomb underground Sunday, the emergency session comes six days after the council strongly condemned Pyongyang's "outrageous" launch of a ballistic missile over Japan.

The U.S. Treasury said in a statement Tuesday the two officials, Kim Jong Sik and Ri Pyong Chol, are being singled out for pushing forward with producing weapons of mass destruction. The new sanctions against the officials freeze the assets they may have in the United States. Both are said to be key figures in North Korea's ballistic missile development.

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Chang said North Korea's use of a gimbal system, that permits each engine to be placed at specific angles, shows new mastery, according to the report.

North Korea's leading newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun of the Workers' Party, ran an editorial on its front page stressing the importance of launching an all-out campaign to pay a great deal of attention to the ideology presented in Kim's address on Saturday.

The North Koreans also called western hopes of an end to Pyongyang's nuclear program a "pipe dream".

Last week, the UNSC unanimously imposed a new round of sanctions on North Korea that particularly limited its refined petroleum product imports and banned all remaining major exports.

The sanctions follow a number of ballistic missile tests this year, including one in late November.

North Korea has been hit with many sanctions in recent months. China has also ordered North Korean companies operating in the country to close.

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