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US imposes sanctions on two N. Korean nationals for assisting illegal weapons programBy Yonhap
Published : June 16, 2023 - 09:38
The United States imposed sanctions on two North Korean nationals based in China on Thursday for assisting North Korea's illegal weapons development programs, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
The move came hours after Pyongyang fired two short-range ballistic missiles, resuming its missile provocation after a brief pause.
"Today, the United States is designating two Beijing-based Democratic People's Republic of Korea nationals connected to the DPRK's weapons of mass destruction procurement," Blinken said in a released statement, referring to North Korea by its official name.
"The DPRK's development of its missile programs directly threatens regional and international security, and the United States will continue to take action to curtail activities in support of those programs," he added.
North Korea has launched some 80 ballistic missiles since the start of last year in what the state department has repeatedly called "blatant violation" of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions.
Pyongyang fired two short-range ballistic missiles on Thursday, about two weeks after its botched attempt to launch what it claimed to be a military spy satellite on May 31.
Those designated Thursday include Choe Chol-min, who, according to the state department, has worked with North Korean officials and Chinese nationals to "procure materials used in the production of DPRK missiles."
"He has also supported Second Academy of Natural Sciences representatives to facilitate the importation of over a thousand DPRK workers into the PRC to unlawfully generate income abroad for the DPRK regime," the released statement said.
The department also designated his wife, Choe Un-jung, who is officially assigned to the North Korean embassy in Beijing.
"Choe Un-jung is being designated for being a North Korean person who has engaged in commercial activity that generates revenue for the Government of North Korea or the Workers' Party of Korea," said Blinken. (Yonhap)
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