TOKYO: The United States and Japan have announced fresh sanctions on North Korea, in response to Pyongyang's latest ballistic missile tests. The Biden administration targeted three individuals who have led organizations linked to the development of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs).
Japan imposed sanctions on three entities and one individual for their ties with the nuclear and missile programs, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.
"The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today sanctioned three individuals for being officials of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK).
These individuals have provided support to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and ballistic missiles," the US Department of the Treasury said in a statement.
These measures come in the wake of Pyongyang's intercontinental ballistic missile launch on November 18, marking its eighth ICBM launch this year.
Both countries say that this action is in line with wider multilateral efforts to impede the DPRK's ability to advance its unlawful WMD and ballistic missile programs that threaten regional stability.
"Treasury is taking action in close trilateral coordination with the Republic of Korea and Japan against officials who have had leading roles in the DPRK's unlawful WMD and ballistic missile programs," said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson.
"Recent launches demonstrate the need for all countries to fully implement UN Security Council resolutions, which are intended to prevent the DPRK from acquiring the technologies, materials, and revenue Pyongyang needs to develop its prohibited WMD and ballistic missile capabilities," Nelson added.
North Korea has conducted dozens of missile test launches since the start of this year, firing several missiles at once on some occasions. Last month, North Korea launched more than 20 short-range missiles. Pyongyang said its missile tests were in response to "provocations" by the US and its regional allies, South Korea and Japan.