US imposes sanctions on five North Korean entities following missile tests

A man watches a TV screen showing a news program reporting about North Korea's ICBM at a train station in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, March 25, 2022
Lee Jin-man/Associated Press

The U.S. imposed sanctions on five North Korean entities Friday after Pyongyang fired off a series of ballistic missile tests this year, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

The Treasury Department sanctioned a major organization, the Ministry of Rocket Industry (MoRI), within the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), as well as four North Korean companies: Hapjanggang Trading Corporation, Korea Rounsan Trading Corporation, Sungnisan Trading Corporation and Unchon Trading Corporation.

North Korea has fired off a slew of missiles this year, including a record number of tests in January alone.

At the end of March, leader Kim Jong Un fired off the country’s longest-range ICBM yet, which is potentially capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) said the tests were “brazen violations” of United Nations Security Council resolutions that “risk destabilizing the security situation in the region.”

The OFAC said the Friday sanctions target MoRI, a research and development organization linked to the development of ICBMs, along with four of the organization’s revenue-generating subsidiaries.

“The DPRK’s provocative ballistic missile tests represent a clear threat to regional and global security and are a blatant violation of UN Security Council resolutions,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.

“The United States and our allies, including Japan today, are committed to using sanctions authorities to limit the DPRK’s continued development and proliferation of its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles,” Yellen added.

Treasury says the sanctions will restrict North Korea’s ability to procure financial and material support.

North Korea’s ICBM launch in March was its first since 2017.

“Only when one is equipped with the formidable striking capabilities, overwhelming military power that cannot be stopped by anyone, one can prevent a war, guarantee the security of the country and contain and put under control all threats and blackmails by the imperialists,” Kim said in a statement at the time, according to state news agencies.

President Biden met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida while he was in in Brussels at the end of March to discuss the launch.

In a statement regarding the launch, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the “DPRK continues to prioritize its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs over the well-being of its people.”

Tags Biden Fumio Kishida ICBM Janet Yellen Joe Biden Kim Jong Un missile launches North Korea North Korea Pyongyang sanctions sanctions U.S. Department of Treasury U.S. sanctions

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