The United States, Japan, and South Korea have imposed new sanctions against North Korean officials allegedly connected to the country’s weapons program.
In an announcement by the US Treasury Department, the office of foreign assets control sanctioned three individuals actively involved in North Korea’s development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Treasury official Brian Nelson said they were “taking action in close trilateral coordination with the Republic of Korea and Japan against officials who have had leading roles in the DPRK’s unlawful WMD and ballistic missile programs. The recent launches demonstrate the need for all countries to fully implement UN Security Council resolutions, which are intended to prevent the DPRK from acquiring the technologies, materials, and revenue Pyongyang needs to develop its prohibited WMD and ballistic missile capabilities.”
The sanctions from the United States, Japan, and South Korea come after the UN security council failed to condemn recent ballistic missile tests from North Korea, with China and Russia blocking any resolutions. China and Russia have blamed the United States for instigating tensions on the Korean peninsula and have called for the US to stop “provoking” North Korea.
Who was sanctioned:
According to the treasury, the three individuals sanctioned were Jon II Ho, Yu Jin, and Kim Su Gil. All three work on behalf of the North Korean government and oversee various parts of their weapons program.
Jon II Ho:
The treasury alleges that Ho is the Director of North Korea’s munitions industry department. The treasury adds that Ho has attended numerous ballistic missile launches since 2017 and has “played a major role in the DPRK’s development of WMD.”
The treasury alleges that Jin is the Vice Director of North Korea’s munitions industry department and is the right-hand man to Jon II Ho.
Kim Su Gil:
The treasury alleges that Gil served as the director of the Korean People’s Army Political Bureau from 2018 – 2021. He also oversaw the implementation of North Korea’s decisions related to its WMD program.