Treasury escalates pressure on North Korea with more sanctions

This image made from video of a news bulletin aired by North Korea's KRT on Nov. 29 2017 shows an image of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un signing what is said to be a document on Nov. 28 2017

Last month the nuclear-armed country reached a significant milestone in the development of its growing arsenal when it tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that United States officials said appeared capable of reaching NY or Washington.

Kim Jong Sik is a key figure in North Korea's program to convert liquid fuel to solid, according to the Treasury Department.

The U.S. sanctions followed new punitive measures imposed Friday on North Korea by the United Nations.

The new measures order North Koreans working overseas to return home within two years, and ban almost 90 per cent of refined petroleum exports to the country. The men are said to be key leaders of the country's missile program, which has already led to many sanctions.

"These actions follow Friday's United Nations Security Council Resolution, which imposed strong new sanctions on North Korea further shutting down its ability to raise illicit funds", Mnuchin added.

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North Korea has continued its missile tests, despite the many sanctions targeting exports, imports and officials behind the program. The sanctions mean any assets the two officials hold in the United States can be confiscated and prohibits Americans from interacting with them.

Deliveries of petrol products capped at 500,000 barrels a year, and crude oil at four million barrels a year. The resolution adopted by the council also demands the repatriation of all North Koreans working overseas within 24 months. The latest test, which took place in November, led to the sanctions announced last week. Washington, however, keeps pressuring North Korea in an attempt to force it to abandon its nuclear ambitions, and is also threatening to pursue a military option.

The two officials have been pictured alongside North Korea's leader during the missile tests.

North Korea on Tuesday encouraged its people to thoroughly study an address delivered by its leader Kim Jong-un last week, calling for a fight to root out "non-socialist" elements in the society, its state-run media reported.

North Korea has been hit with many sanctions in recent months.

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