The United States and its Asian allies have sanctioned three North Korean senior officials linked to the country’s recent missile tests.
This year, Pyongyang launched a record number of ballistic missiles – over 60 – and tested several intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Jon Il Ho, Yu Jin, and Kim Su Gil are said to have “played major roles” in the development of the weapons.
Sanctions have also been imposed by Japan, South Korea, and the European Union.
For years, North Korea has faced harsh sanctions imposed by Western countries. All North Korean officials’ assets in the United States will be frozen under the new sanctions. They will be barred from doing business with any company or individual in the United States.
“Today’s actions have been taken in close coordination with the Republic of Korea and Japan and further align our policies with our EU partners on the global DPRK threat,” a statement from the US State Department. said.
“These steps also underscore our sustained resolve to promote accountability in response to Pyongyang’s pace, scale, and scope of ballistic missile launches.”
The most recent missile test occurred on November 18, when Japan’s defense minister stated that North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the US mainland. According to Tokyo, it landed in the sea about 210 kilometers (130 miles) west of Hokkaido.
Pyongyang conducted six nuclear tests between 2006 and 2017, and is said to be preparing for a seventh. Experts believe it will take advantage of the opportunity to test a small nuclear device. They also claim that North Korea is improving its short-range missiles and conventional military capabilities.
Kim Jong-un has overseen much of the recent development of the country’s weapons program, as well as four of the six nuclear tests so far.
“Recent launches demonstrate the need for all countries to fully implement UN Security Council resolutions, which are intended to prevent the DPRK from acquiring the technologies, materials, and revenue Pyongyang needs to develop its prohibited WMD and ballistic missile capabilities,” according to a US Treasury statement.
However, some American analysts argue that such sanctions are merely symbolic and have had no effect on Pyongyang’s behavior.
“We (US) can sanction North Korea all we want. But to have a real impact, we should also suspend US dollar correspondent bank access of those mainland Chinese institutions handling Kim’s regime cash,” said Sean King, a consultant at Park Strategies.
(Adapted from Daily-Sun.com)