The United States on Friday announced new sanctions on North Korea in response to the flurry of missile tests the country conducted this week, including one launched over Japan on Tuesday.
The sanctions target three entities and two individuals who assisted in exporting petroleum to North Korea, “which directly supports the development of DPRK weapons programs and its military,” a statement from the Treasury Department said.
“The DPRK’s long-range ballistic missile launches, including over Japan, demonstrate a continued disregard for United Nations Security Council resolutions,” Treasury Undersecretary Brian Nelson said in a statement. “The United States will continue to enforce multilateral sanctions and pursue the DPRK’s sanctions evasion efforts worldwide, including by designating those who support these activities.”
The sanctions are the latest in a handful of efforts the U.S. has taken to address the missile launches. President Joe Biden condemned the launch over Japan during a call with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida Wednesday. The leaders recognized the launch as “a danger to the Japanese people, destabilizing to the region, and a clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions,” the White House said.
The U.S. and South Korea also launched their own missile test Wednesday, firing U.S.-made ATACMS short-range ballistic missiles into the sea. On Thursday, the U.S., Japan and South Korea performed a joint missile defense exercise in the Sea of Japan, which was part of an effort “to deter aggressive, provocative actions out of the north,” and to “make sure we have the appropriate military capabilities at the ready in the region in case we need them,” National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said during an interview on CNN Thursday.
Despite the back-and-forth saber rattling, the Biden administration has reiterated they are open to working-level talks with North Korea without preconditions.
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