Following a succession of North Korean missile tests, including two this week, the US blacklisted six North Koreans, one Russian, and an entity it said was responsible for obtaining commodities for North Korea’s nuclear programme.
The steps, according to the US Treasury Department, are in accordance with US efforts to halt North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and ballistic missile programmes from progressing, as well as obstruct Pyongyang’s attempts to proliferate related technologies.
It stated it has been following six North Korean ballistic missile launches since September 2021, all of which it said had violated several UN Security Council Resolutions.
According to a statement, North Korea’s “continuing use of overseas representatives to unlawfully obtain materials for weapons,” according to Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson.
“Further evidence that it continues to pursue forbidden programmes despite the international community’s appeals for diplomacy and denuclearization,” he said of North Korea’s recent missile launches. As he watched a hypersonic missile launch on Tuesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un urged for a strengthening of his country’s strategic military forces, according to official media.
The second launch of a “hypersonic missile” in less than a week reaffirmed Kim’s New Year’s resolution to beef up the military with cutting-edge technology at a time when talks with South Korea and the US have stalled.