US announces new sanctions after North Korea missile test

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 25 2022 01:09 PM

A photo released by the official North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows Kim Jong Un (C), president of the State Affairs of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and supreme commander of the armed forces of the DPRK, during the test-launch of a new type of inter-continental ballistic missile Hwasongpho-17 of the DPRK strategic forces that was conducted on March 24, 2022 (issued 25 March 2022). EPA-EFE/KCNA
A photo released by the official North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows Kim Jong Un (C), president of the State Affairs of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and supreme commander of the armed forces of the DPRK, during the test-launch of a new type of inter-continental ballistic missile Hwasongpho-17 of the DPRK strategic forces that was conducted on March 24, 2022 (issued 25 March 2022). EPA-EFE/KCNA

WASHINGTON — The United States imposed new sanctions Thursday on entities and people in Russia and North Korea after Pyongyang's latest ICBM missile test.

The targeted persons and organizations are accused of "transferring sensitive items to North Korea's missile program," according to a State Department statement.

"These measures are part of our ongoing efforts to impede the DPRK's ability to advance its missile program and they highlight the negative role Russia plays on the world stage as a proliferator to programs of concern," the statement said, using the official acronym for North Korea.

The new sanctions were quickly derided by Moscow's ambassador in Washington Anatoly Antonov, who said: "serial sanctions will not achieve their goals."

Thursday's launch was the first time Pyongyang had fired the country's most powerful missiles at full range since 2017, and it appears to have travelled higher and further than any previous intercontinental ballistic missile tested by the nuclear-armed nation. 

Kim Jong Un personally oversaw the test-firing of a "new type" of ICBM to boost his country's nuclear deterrent against the US "imperialists," North Korea's state media reported early Friday.

In response, the State Department said Washington has sanctioned the Russian entities called Ardis Group, PFK Profpodshipnik and Russian national Igor Aleksandrovich Michurin.

It also sanctioned North Korean citizen Ri Sung Chol and a North Korean entity called Second Academy of Natural Science Foreign Affairs Bureau.

The statement did not detail the specific allegations against these people and entities.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong late Thursday to reaffirm Washington's alliance with Seoul.

The two top diplomats reiterated that the launch violated multiple UN Security Council resolutions, and "demonstrates the threat the DPRK's unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs pose to the DPRK's neighbors and the broader international community," State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a readout of the call. 

For its part, the Russian embassy accused the United States of seeking to punish officials in Moscow because they hold a view that "does not correspond to the views of Washington."

"It is obvious that the next 'package' of anti-Russian sanctions is aimed at destroying the economy and undermining the domestic political situation in our country," Antonov posted on the embassy's Facebook page.

Last week, the US Treasury announced sanctions against two Russian individuals and three entities over their support for North Korea's weapons program.

© Agence France-Presse 

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