The United States has placed sanctions on two senior North Korean officials over Pyongyang's ballistic missile program.
The Treasury Department on December 26 named the two as Kim Jong Sik, thought to be a key figure in North Korea's efforts to switch its missile program from liquid to solid fuel, and Ri Pyong Chol, who is believed to be a key official involved in the country's intercontinental ballistic missile development.
"Treasury is targeting leaders of North Korea's ballistic missile programs, as part of our maximum pressure campaign to isolate [North Korea] and achieve a fully denuclearized Korean Peninsula," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.
"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," he added.
On December 22, the UN Security Council unanimously approved new sanctions on North Korea in response to last month's launch of a ballistic missile that Pyongyang says is capable of reaching anywhere on the U.S. mainland.
Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP