US sanctions two North Korean officials over missile prog: US Treasury Dept.

This image shows U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin

In a statement published on Sunday by the state-run KCNA news agency, the North Korean foreign ministry denounced the new United Nations sanctions as "an act of war".

The Treasurer also said that the two officials were listed in a new United Nations Security Council resolution sanctioning North Korea last Friday.

The US has expanded sanctions against North Korea targeting two senior military officials, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) at the Department of the Treasury announced on Tuesday, Sputnik reported. It also allows the United States government to freeze any American assets owned by the officials, should they exist.

The sanctions last week limit North Korea to half a million barrels of petrol products and four million oil barrels a year.

All North Korean nationals working overseas made to return home within 24 months, restricting a vital source of foreign currency.

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Ri is deputy director of the Workers' Party Munitions Industry Department, which oversees the ballistic missile program, which was sanctioned by the State Department in 2010. 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 missile landed near Japanese waters.

North Korea's missiles have become suddenly successful because of its purchases of advanced Russian-designed RD-250 rocket engines on the black market, as analyst Michael Elleman pointed out in August. A Reuters investigation said a few months ago that the men were picked for the program by North Korea's leader.

The acquisition of those engines may have been accompanied by a North Korea focus on Ukraine, and alleged attempts to steal missile secrets from a Ukrainian facility. Trump has provoked North Korea in the past by making fun of leader Kim Jong-un, calling him "short and fat" and nicknaming him "Rocket Man". It later extended the ban to seafood, iron and iron ore.

The North Korean regime is believed to use a complex network of front companies to do business in China and other countries to dodge the economic restrictions.

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