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US continues to sanction North Korea’s missile program

The US Treasury Department sanctioned five entities for helping North Korea develop weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.

“North Korea’s provocative ballistic missile tests represent a clear threat to regional and global security, in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions,” the Finance Minister said. America Janet Yellen said in a statement on April 1.

Sanctions announced on the same day are aimed at the Missile Industry Ministry North Koreathe agency directly involved in the development of the new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

Four businesses believed to be under the North’s Missile Industry Ministry, including Hapjanggang, North Korea Rounsan, Sungnisan and Unchon Trade Corporation, are also on the sanctions list.

North Korea's Hwasong-17 rocket leaves the launch pad on March 24.  Photo: KCNA.

North Korea’s Hwasong-17 rocket leaves the launch pad on March 24. Photo: KCNA.

The US Treasury Department issued new sanctions in the context of escalating tensions after North Korea launched a test on March 24 Hwasong-17 . missile, also known as Hwasongpho-17. This is North Korea’s first ICBM test since 2017.

Before that, the US State Department on March 24 sanctions notice two Russian companies and one North Korean entity for transferring sensitive items to Pyongyang’s missile program. State Department spokesman Ned Price said the decision was part of an effort to “thwart the missile program” of North Korea.

North Korea has not conducted a nuclear test or ICBM since its leadership Kim Jong-un ordered the suspension of this activity in 2018. North Korea hinted in January that it was considering “restarting suspended activities” in response to the United States due to its hostile policy and military threat.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said the new ICBM “will reliably fulfill its mission of becoming a powerful nuclear war deterrent”.

“North Korea’s new strategic weapon will make the whole world once again clearly realize the power of our strategic armed forces,” Kim Jong-un said.

Military experts say that the Hwasong-17 is significantly larger in size than the Hwasong-15. The missile has a diameter of about 2.5 m, an estimated mass of 80-110 tons and is mounted on an 11-axle ammunition truck, making the Hwasong-17 the largest mobile land-based ICBM in the world.

Nguyen Tien (According to Reuters)

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