The United States imposed new sanctions on entities and people in Russia and North Korea after Pyongyang’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test.
The targeted persons and organizations are accused of “transferring sensitive items to North Korea’s missile program,” according to a State Department statement.
“These measures are part of our ongoing efforts to impede the DPRK’s ability to advance its missile program and they highlight the negative role Russia plays on the world stage as a proliferator to programs of concern,” the statement said, using the official acronym for North Korea.
The new sanctions were quickly derided by Moscow’s ambassador in Washington Anatoly Antonov, who said: “serial sanctions will not achieve their goals.”
Thursday’s launch was the first time Pyongyang had fired the country’s most powerful missiles at full range since 2017, and it appears to have travelled higher and further than any previous intercontinental ballistic missile tested by the nuclear-armed nation.
Kim Jong Un personally oversaw the test-firing of a “new type” of ICBM to boost his country’s nuclear deterrent against the US “imperialists,” North Korea’s state media reported early Friday.
In response, the State Department said Washington has sanctioned the Russian entities called Ardis Group, PFK Profpodshipnik and Russian national Igor Aleksandrovich Michurin.
It also sanctioned North Korean citizen Ri Sung Chol and a North Korean entity called Second Academy of Natural Science Foreign Affairs Bureau.
The statement did not detail the specific allegations against these people and entities.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong late Thursday to reaffirm Washington’s alliance with Seoul.
The two top diplomats reiterated that the launch violated multiple UN Security Council resolutions, and “demonstrates the threat the DPRK’s unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs pose to the DPRK’s neighbors and the broader international community,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a readout of the call.
For its part, the Russian embassy accused the United States of seeking to punish officials in Moscow because they hold a view that “does not correspond to the views of Washington.”
“It is obvious that the next ‘package’ of anti-Russian sanctions is aimed at destroying the economy and undermining the domestic political situation in our country,” Antonov posted on the embassy’s Facebook page.