New York, June 3: The United Nations on Friday condemning the nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development activities of North Korea has put sanctions on 14 individuals and four entities of Pyongyang.
Notably, the UN Security Council has expanded targeted sanctions against North Korea in response to a series of missile tests conducted by Pyongyang this year. However, the sanctions impose a travel ban and asset freeze on four entities and 14 officials, including the head of North Korea's overseas spying operations and Cho Il-u, who leads Pyongyang's foreign espionage operations.
The other blacklisted officials are senior members of North Korea's Workers' Party and heads of trading firms funding Pyongyang's military programme. North Korea's strategic rocket force, the Koryo Bank and two trading firms were also added to the list.
Unanimously adopting a resolution, the 15-member body also reaffirmed its decisions that the north-east Asian country should abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, and immediately cease all related activities. The council voted unanimously to back the sanctions after weeks of negotiations between the US and China. Meanwhile, Pyongyang has defied a UN resolution banning all nuclear and missile tests.
The council also condemned “in the strongest terms” the country's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development activities, including a series of ballistic missile launches, dating back to 9 September 2016, which were conducted “in violation and flagrant disregard” of the relevant Council resolutions. Interestingly, North Korea has conducted nine ballistic missile tests, including one on Monday this week.
Earlier, the United States sanctioned 11 North Koreans and one North Korean company for their alleged connection with the country's weapons program, banks and commodities trade in the month of April this year.