Washington (Times Of Ocean)- On Friday, the United States imposed fresh sanctions against North Korea after U.S. and South Korean officials reported Pyongyang had launched two intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The sanctions, announced by the US Treasury, target two Russian nationals and three Russian companies linked to North Korea’s missile procurement activities. Apollon OOO, Zeel-M Co., Ltd, and RK Briz OOO were listed.
Concerns have grown that North Korea may soon resume full tests of long-range ICBMs and nuclear weapons for the first time since 2017.
The Russians were identified by the U.S. Treasury as Aleksandr Andreyevich Gayevoy and Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Chasovnikov, both of Vladivostok.
“The DPRK continues to launch ballistic missiles in blatant violation of international law, posing a grave threat to global security,” U.S. Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement, referring to North Korea by the initials of its official name.
“Today’s actions respond to this threat by targeting a network of Russia-based individuals and entities complicit in helping the DPRK procure components for its unlawful ballistic missile systems.”
“The United States will continue to implement and enforce existing sanctions to press the DPRK to return to a diplomatic path and abandon its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and missiles,” he added.
A senior U.S. official called the recent North Korean launches a ‘serious escalation’ and said the international community needs to unite against further development of such weapons.
The official said that more steps would be taken in the coming days.