The move came a day after China and Russia vetoed a US-led effort to impose more UN sanctions on North Korea over its ballistic missile launches.
The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on two Russian banks, a North Korean company and an individual it accused of supporting North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction program, increasing pressure on Pyongyang over ballistic missile relaunches.
The latest US move came a day after China and Russia vetoed a US-led effort to impose more United Nations sanctions on North Korea over its ballistic missile launches. †
The vetoes came despite what the US says was a sixth test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) by North Korea this year and signs that Pyongyang is preparing to conduct its first nuclear test since 2017.
The US Treasury Department said in a statement it targeted Air Koryo Trading Corp and Russian financial institutions the Far Eastern Bank and Bank Sputnik for their contribution to sourcing and monetization for North Korean organizations.
Washington also appointed Jong Yong Nam, a Belarus-based representative of an organization subordinate to the North Korean Second Academy of Natural Sciences (SANS), which Washington says has supported North Korean organizations related to the development of ballistic missiles.
North Korea’s mission to the United Nations in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“The United States will continue to apply and enforce existing sanctions while urging the DPRK (North Korea) to return to a diplomatic path and cease its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles,” said Brian, the Undersecretary of the Treasury Department for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. Nelson, said in the statement.
China has urged the US to take action — including lifting some unilateral sanctions — to entice Pyongyang to resume talks stalled since 2019 after three failed summits between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and then-US president Donald Trump. The US has said that Pyongyang should not be rewarded.