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US sanctions 2 North Korean officials over ballistic missile development

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US sanctions 2 North Korean officials over ballistic missile development

The U.S. Department of the Treasury sanctioned two senior North Korean government officials who were reportedly key figures in North Korea's ballistic missile development.

The department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, imposed sanctions on Kim Jong Sik, who the agency identified as "a key figure in North Korea's missile program, including efforts to switch from liquid to solid fuel," and Ri Pyong Chol, who is reported to be an important official involved in North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile development.

Both are officials of the Workers' Party of Korea Munitions Industry Department. MID oversees North Korea's ballistic missile programs, according to a statement released by the department. The U.S. action blocks access to the officials' property in the U.S. and prohibits U.S. citizens from dealing with them.

The sanctions came in response to North Korea's ongoing development of weapons of mass destruction and followed the U.N. Security Council Resolution on Dec. 22 to impose new sanctions on North Korea over its recent intercontinental ballistic missile test.

"Treasury is targeting leaders of North Korea's ballistic missile programs, as part of our maximum pressure campaign to isolate the [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] and achieve a fully denuclearized Korean Peninsula," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.