The US Treasury Department on Wednesday struck five North Korean sanctions officials in response to a ballistic missile test on Tuesday.
North Korea held two tests over the past week, which it said were both successful. The tests involved a hypersonic glide vehicle, which was released from a rocket thruster and demonstrated “glide flight” and “corkscrew maneuver” before hitting a target 620 miles offshore.
Leader Kim Jong Un is said to have overseen the successful missile test, which he said would dramatically increase the country’s nuclear “war deterrence”.
The sanctions relate to the roles played by officials in obtaining equipment and technology for the country’s weapons program.
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But the officials affected by the sanction do not actually reside in North Korea: one currently resides in Russia while the other four operate from China. All five are accused of providing money, goods or services to North Korea’s Second Academy of Natural Sciences, which is believed to be involved in the country’s military defense program.
The sanctions will freeze any assets the five officials hold in U.S. jurisdictions and prohibit any American from doing business with them. Any foreign company or person who deals with officials may also be subject to sanctions.
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“The latest missile launches by the DPRK are further proof that it continues to advance prohibited programs despite calls from the international community for diplomacy and denuclearization,” said Brian Nelson, head of the Treasury in charge of the DPRK. terrorism and financial intelligence.
North Korea claimed to have successfully conducted a hypersonic weapons test on Jan.5, which marked the country’s second successful overall test of such a weapon.
The tests follow similar hypersonic weapons tests carried out by Russia and China in what US Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall has called a new “arms race” that “has continued for a long time. time”.
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But a Congressional national security staff member told Fox News that while hypersonic weapons remain important, they are only “part of the puzzle.”
“Our fleet is 100 warships too small,” the staff member said. “Our nuclear triad is decades old. New threats emerge in space and cyberspace almost daily. We risk falling behind everywhere.”
“The second Russia and China think they can bleed the West’s nose and get away with it, they’ll take a hit. We’d better be ready for it,” the employee added. .
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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