US sanctions two N.Koreans over missile program: statement

Washington (AFP) –


The United States on Tuesday sanctioned two senior North Korean officials over the country's ballistic missile program, the Treasury Department said.

"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," it said in a statement.

The two officials were listed last Friday in a new United Nations Security Council resolution sanctioning North Korea, Treasury said.

"Kim Jong Sik reportedly is a key figure in North Korea's ballistic missile development, including efforts to switch from liquid to solid fuel, and Ri Pyong Chol is reported to be a key official involved in North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile development," Treasury said.

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have escalated this year, and Pyongyang's test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on November 28 marked an advance in its drive to threaten the US mainland with a nuclear strike.