U.S. Sanctions Two North Korean Officials Over Weapons Program

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(CBS News) — Two North Korean officials are facing sanctions in response to the country’s weapons program. The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced the sanctions against Kim Jong Sik and Ri Pyong Chol on Tuesday. Both are said to be key figures in North Korea’s ballistic missile development.

“Treasury is targeting leaders of North Korea’s ballistic missile programs, as part of our maximum pressure campaign to isolate the DPRK and achieve a fully denuclearized Korean Peninsula,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement announcing the sanctions.

DPRK is short for North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.171129-nk-kim-jong-un.jpg

The latest sanctions come after the United Nations Security Council voted to issue tough new sanctions against North Korea on Friday. The resolution put a cap on the country’s crude oil imports and limits imports of refined oil products. It also prohibits the export of certain items including machinery, electrical equipment and wood.

The sanctions follow a number of ballistic missile tests this year, including one in late November. North Korea claimed the intercontinental ballistic missile it that test can reach any target in the continental United States.

In response to the U.N. vote, North Korea called the sanctions “an act of war” on Sunday.

“If the U.S. wishes to live safely, it must abandon its hostile policy towards the DPRK and learn to co-exist with the country that has nuclear weapons and should wake up from its pipe dream of our country giving up nuclear weapons which we have developed and completed through all kinds of hardships,” a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency said Sunday.