On Wednesday, the President Joe Biden administration imposed sanctions on five North Korean officials in its first response to Pyongyang’s latest ballistic missile launches, including a pair of new missile tests since last week, and later declared it will also seek out new United Nations sanctions. The American sanctions targeted 6 North Koreans, one Russian and a Russian company Washington said were responsible for procuring goods for the programs from China and Russia.
The US Department of Treasury said that its actions follow 6 ballistic missile tests since last September by North Korea (officially the DPRK), noting that they violated several U.N. Security Council Resolutions.
— DD News (@DDNewslive) January 13, 2022
The Treasury Department said under Brian E Nelson, Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Secretary, that Jan. 12’s actions, part of America’s continuing efforts to counter North Korea’s ‘weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs,’ target its sustained use of overseas representatives to illegally procure goods for weapons. The statement added that North Korea’s latest missile tests are further evidence that it continues to advance prohibited programs in spite of the global community’s ‘calls for diplomacy and denuclearization.’
Moreover, according to the Treasury, America remains committed to seeking discussion and diplomacy with Pyongyang but will continue to deal with the threat posed by North Korea’s unlawful weapons programs to America and the global community.
N.Korea Test-fired Ballistic Missile
Later, on Wednesday, Antony Blinken, the U.S. State Secretary, said in a statement that along with the individuals and entities that the U.S. Treasury had imposed sanctions on, his department was placing sanctions on one DPRK and one Russian individual, and one Russian entity that have engaged in doings or transactions that have materially contributed to the ‘proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)’ or their means of delivery by DPRK.
A complete assessment of the missile launches by DPRK on Tuesday local time continues to be made. However, three American officials stated they’re not astounded by the development. Those two officials mentioned DPRK’s statement that it was on the new advanced weapons for warfighting earlier in January and carried out its first hypersonic missile launch in 2021.
In the meantime, the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) said Tuesday’s test-fire was more advanced than the missile DPRK tested past week, reaching a velocity of over ten-times the speed of sound (12348 km/h). Tuesday’s missile launch, condemned by authorities in Tokyo and Washington prompting an expression of concern from Antonio Guterres, the U.N. Secretary-General, underscored DPRK leader’s New year’s pledge to strengthen the military with cutting-edge technology at a time when discussions with Seoul and Washington have stalled.
The projectile launched on Tuesday was from Jangang province, close to the border with China, and landed in the waters between Japan and Korean Peninsula, its flight traveling a distance of over 435 miles (700 kilometers) and reached an altitude of 37 miles (60 km).