Updated Jan 13, 2022 - World

U.S. presses UN to hit North Korea with more sanctions over missile tests

 People watch a television broadcast reporting on North Korean Kim Jong-un at the Seoul Railway Station on January 05, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea.
A broadcast reports on North Korea's Kim Jong-un at the Seoul Railway Station in South Korea. Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

The Biden administration on Wednesday imposed sanctions on North Korean and Russian individuals and entities for supporting North Korea's ballistic missile program.

Driving the news: The announcement follows North Korea's two missile tests in the past week and leader Kim Jong-un's threat to bolster the country's nuclear weapons program.

The big picture: The Treasury Department ordered sanctions on five North Korean officials for obtaining goods for weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and ballistic missile-related programs.

  • The State Department announced penalties against another North Korean person, a Russian man and a Russian company that it said had "engaged in activities or transactions" that helped contribute to the "proliferation of WMD or their means of delivery" by North Korea.
  • The sanctions freeze assets in U.S. jurisdictions of those sanctioned, prevent Americans from doing business with anyone affected by the action and subject foreign companies and individuals to possible penalties if there are transactions with them.

What's next: Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, tweeted on Wednesday night that the United States was proposing UN sanctions over North Korea's "six ballistic missile launches since September ... each of which were in violation of UN Security Council resolutions."

What they're saying: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that the Biden administration "will use every appropriate tool" to address North Korea's weapons programs, "which constitute a serious threat to international peace and security and undermine the global nonproliferation regime."

Flashback: Biden extends sanctions against North Korea

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from Blinken and the headline has been updated to reflect the U.S. proposal to the UN.

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