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U.S. sanctions more people, firms over North Korea arms: Treasury
December 16 2017, 10:28 | Irvin Gilbert
The intermediate-range ballistic missile Pukguksong-2's launch test. KCNA via REUTERS
In March 2016, then-President Barack Obama imposed sweeping sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear program, allowing the United States to blacklist any individuals, whether or not they are USA citizens, who deal with major sectors of North Korea's economy, including its financial, mining and transportation sectors.
USA and Chinese diplomats have negotiated new sanctions on Pyongyang for the past five weeks, and the 15-nation Security Council could hold a vote on a draft resolution as early as Friday, Reuters reported, citing unidentified diplomats.
The draft would also freeze the assets of two trading companies, a bank and the Strategic Rocket Force of the Korean People's Army, which is in charge of all ballistic missile programs.
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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the U.N. Security Council on April 28 that it needed to act before North Korea does.
As a result of the sanctions, all of Michurin and the companies' assets subject to United States jurisdiction are frozen and USA companies are prohibited from doing business with them. That list now names 39 individuals and 42 entities and groups subject to sanctions.
"Today's actions target North Korea's military, nuclear, and WMD programs, its revenue from labor, coal, and minerals, as well as its overseas financial operations", the Treasury said in a statement.
OFAC sanctioned Igor Aleksandrovich Michurin, the Moscow-based companies Ardis-Bearings LLC and Independent Petroleum Company (IPC), and IPC'S subsidiary in Vladivostok, AO NNK-Primornefteproduct.
-Ri Yong Mu, vice chairman of the State Affairs Commission, which directs and guide all military, defense and security-related affairs in the country, "including acquisitions and procurement".
The United States has struggled to slow North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, which has become a security priority given Pyongyang's vow to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the USA mainland. President Donald Trump has sought to pressure China - North Korea's top trading partner - to use greater leverage on its neighbor and ally, though Kim Jong Un's regime often makes decisions contrary to Beijing's wishes.
This week, after world leaders again urged Kim to abandon its nuclear program, North Korea conducted another missile test.
It would also reiterate the importance of maintaining peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and in northeast Asia, express the council's commitment "to a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the situation", and welcome efforts "to facilitate a peaceful and comprehensive situation through dialogue".