Two top level North Korean officials were sanctioned by the USA over their involvement in the ballistic missile programme on Tuesday. The sanctions effectively block them from holding or acquiring any property within US jurisdiction also prohibits them from any transactions with American Citizens.
The two officials Kim Jong Sik and Ri Pyong Chol are seniors in the North Korean Munitions Department and are frequently seen with Kim Jong Un in photos and news clippings. Kim Jong Sik is considered to be key figure in the country’s attempts to switch from liquid to solid fuel which could allow them to launch with a lesser warning and easier to hide before launch.
The new sanctions were preceded by UN Security Council’s resolution which imposed new sanctions on North Korean on Friday. The UN sanctions were in response to the Nov 28 missile test. The latest missile test by Pyongyang include a ballistic missile which could reach U.S mainland including New York or Washington. US President Donald Trump has recently signed a 4 billion dollar anti-missile defence bill to beef up missile defence systems primarily against North Korea.
Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury Secretary has claimed that the new sanctions were part of a “maximum pressure campaign to achieve a fully denuclearised Korean Peninsula.” South Korean too also welcomed the sanctions terming them as “the right decision.”
Meanwhile the North Korean foreign ministry has declared the new sanctions as an “act of war” claiming the US were “violating peace in the Korean peninsula.” It also announced that it was unilaterally rejecting the sanctions.