Biden imposes first sanctions on North Korea’s weapons program after missile tests

The missile was launched during a state media report that it was a hypersonic missile test on January 11, 2022 at an undisclosed location in North Korea, this photo was released on January 12, 2022 by the North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). KCNA via REUTERS

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WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 (Reuters) – The Biden administration has imposed sanctions on North Korea’s weapons programs since Wednesday, following a series of missiles fired by North Korea over the past two weeks.

The sanctions targeted six North Koreans, with one Russian and one Russian company, Washington, said they were responsible for purchasing materials for the projects from Russia and China.

The U.S. Treasury said the move was aimed at preventing North Korea from advancing its plans and its efforts to expand its weapons technology.

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The United States has proposed that five of those individuals be placed on a detention list by the United Nations Security Council, which would require the unanimous consent of the 15-member North Korean sanctions panel. read more

The administration of US President Joe Biden has failed in its attempts to persuade Pyongyang to drop its atomic bombs and missiles since taking office in January last year.

U.S. State Department spokesman Nate Price said the United States is committed to pursuing diplomacy with North Korea.

“What we’ve seen in recent days … only underscores our belief that if we are to move forward, we need to engage in that dialogue,” he told a regular news conference.

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The Treasury Department said the sanctions were imposed following the launch of six North Korean missiles since September, each of which violates UN Security Council resolutions.

Brian Nelson, deputy secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said the measures were aimed at “continuing to use North Korea’s foreign envoys to buy illegal weapons.”

Nelson said in a statement that North Korea’s recent launches were “further evidence that the international community, despite calls for diplomacy and nuclear disarmament, continues to pursue embargoed plans.”

Russia-based North Korea’s Cho Myung-hyon, Russian national Roman Anatolyevich Allar and Russian firm Barsek LLC have been “appointed by the State Department for operations or transactions that facilitate the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or their distribution mechanisms.”

Choe Myong Hyon, a representative of Vladivostok’s North Korea’s Second Academy of Natural Sciences (SANS), said it was working to procure telecommunications equipment from Russia.

Four Chinese-based North Korean representatives of SANS-affiliated organizations – Sim Kwang Chok, Kim Chang Han, Kang Sol Haq and Pyongyang Kwang Sol – and another Russian-based North Korean, O Yong Ho, were also targeted.

The Treasury said it had worked on the purchase of the Talian-based Sim Kwang Chok, steel alloys and Kim Chang Han, Shenyang, software and chemicals.

In a statement, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has been working to purchase a number of items, including ballistic missile applications, including Olar Yong Ho, director of Porsche LLC and the company’s development alarm, Kevlar Nool, and Aramid, at least between 2016 and 2021. Fiber, kerosene, ball bearings and precision milling machines.

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Rocket fuel compounds

Plinken said Aller also provided O Yong Ho with instructions for creating solid rocket fuel compounds.

“The procurement and distribution relationship between O Yong Ho, Roman Anatolyevich Alar and Parsek LLC is a key source of missile-usable materials and technology for DPRK’s missile program,” his statement said.

It also said that O Yong Ho worked to procure goods, including aramid fiber, stainless steel tubes and ball bearings, from unnamed “third countries”.

North Korea’s UN mission, China’s embassies in Russia and Washington, and the Russian agency did not respond to requests for comment.

North Korean media reported on Tuesday that President Kim Jong Un had observed the test of a hypersonic missile for the second time in a week, promising in his New Year’s speech to upgrade the military with state – of – the – art technology. read more

Albania, France, Ireland, Japan and the United Kingdom came to the test on Tuesday, just hours after the US mission to the United Nations, condemning the launch last week and urging the UN to implement sanctions obligations. Called for countries. read more

UN resolutions impose sanctions on North Korea over its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons tests.

Anthony Ruggiero, a former Trump administration sanctions expert who failed to persuade Kim to withdraw his nuclear program despite unprecedented involvement, called the new sanctions “a good start.”

However he acknowledged that their numbers were not enough to defeat Obama’s government.

When asked why no Chinese individuals or organizations were targeted, or whether China and Russia in particular were doing enough to implement sanctions, Price did not respond, but stressed the importance of all UN countries doing so: “Obviously we did not. I saw it all.”

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Wednesday’s operations freeze US – owned assets of those targeted and prohibit all activities with them.

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Reported by David Brunstrom and Chris Gallagher; Additional Report by Simon Lewis and Michael Nichols; Editing by Jonathan Odyssey, Howard Collar and Grant McCauley

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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