The U.S. unveiled a new raft of sanctions against North Korea Wednesday, targeting financial and other support for the country’s development of weapons of mass destruction.
Sixteen individuals, nine companies and six ships were designated as the administration of President Donald Trump piles pressure on Kim Jong Un to abandon his weapons program.
The sanctions primarily target Chinese and North Korean trade companies, shipping firms and vessels, as well as the Ministry of Crude Oil Industry.
Last month, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution targeting North Korea’s oil imports, shipping companies and foreign labor as efforts increase to disrupt the country’s energy supply.
Among the new designations are 10 individuals associated with the Korea Ryonbong General Corp., which Treasury said specializes in acquisitions for the defense industries and probable procurements supporting chemical weapons development.
The individuals included company representatives in Russia, Georgia and China.
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assetts Control (OFAC) said the new designations were a response to weapons development and violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement the U.S. would also target actors “that continue to provide a lifeline to North Korea,” calling on China and Russia to expel illicit actors.
The Trump administration has vowed to put “maximum pressure” on the Kim regime, which has in recent years accelerated progress toward developing nuclear-tipped intercontinental missiles capable of reaching the U.S.
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