New U.S. sanctions target North Korea, weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons news

A day earlier, China and Russia vetoed a U.S.-led push for more U.N. sanctions on North Korea’s ballistic missile launches.

The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on two Russian banks, a North Korean company and a person accused of supporting North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction program, adding to pressure on Pyongyang to relaunch ballistic missiles.

The latest U.S. move comes a day after China and Russia vetoed a U.S.-led push to impose more U.N. sanctions on North Korea over its ballistic missile launches, marking the first public division of the U.N. Security Council since it began punishing Pyongyang in 2006.

The rejection came despite the U.S. saying it was North Korea’s sixth test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) this year and signs that Pyongyang was preparing for its first nuclear test since 2017.

The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement that it targeted Air Koryo Trading Company and Russian financial institutions Far Eastern Bank and Sputnik Bank for their contributions to North Korean organizations’ procurement and revenue generation.

Washington also designated Jong Yong Nam, the Belarusian representative of an organization affiliated with North Korea’s Second Academy of Natural Sciences (SANS), which Washington says supports North Korean organizations linked to ballistic missile development.

The North Korean mission to the United Nations in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“The United States will continue to implement and enforce existing sanctions while urging North Korea (North Korea) to return to the diplomatic path and abandon its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles,” said Brian Nielsen, Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence said in a statement.

China has been pressing the U.S. to take action — including lifting some unilateral sanctions — to entice Pyongyang to resume talks that have stalled since 2019 after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held three failed meetings with then-U.S. President Donald Trump. summit. The United States says it should not reward Pyongyang.

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