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Trump admin sanctions two senior North Korean officials

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The Treasury Department on Tuesday announced new sanctions against two top North Korean officials involved in the country’s weapons development program.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement the move was part of the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign designed to “isolate” North Korea from the rest of the world.

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“Treasury is targeting leaders of North Korea’s ballistic missile programs, as part of our maximum pressure campaign to isolate [North Korea] and achieve a fully denuclearized Korean Peninsula,” Mnuchin said.

“These actions follow Friday’s United Nations Security Council Resolution, which imposed strong new sanctions on North Korea further shutting down its ability to raise illicit funds.”

The two North Korean officials, Kim Jong Sik and Ri Pyong Chol, are involved with the WPK Munitions Industry Department, which oversees North Korea’s ballistic missile development, according to a press release.

The United Nations (U.N.) Security Council voted on Friday to issue increased sanctions against the country, a move quickly touted by the Trump administration. 

“It sends the unambiguous message to Pyongyang that further defiance will invite further punishments and isolation,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said after the vote. 

North Korea’s government, however, called the new sanctions an “act of war.”

“We define this ‘sanctions resolution’ rigged up by the U.S. and its followers as a grave infringement upon the sovereignty of our Republic, as an act of war violating peace and stability in the Korean peninsula and the region and categorically reject the ‘resolution,’ ” a statement from North Korea’s foreign ministry said.

Tags Donald Trump Nikki Haley North Korea sanctions Steven Mnuchin Steven Mnuchin Treasury Department United Nations Security Council

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