Treasury escalates pressure on North Korea with more sanctions

Russia: US 'Aggressive Rhetoric' on North Korea Fueling Tensions

North Korea claimed the intercontinental ballistic missile it that test can reach any target in the continental United States. Both are said to be key figures in North Korea's ballistic missile development.

North Korea said the move was "an act of war" and tantamount to a total economic blockade.

The United Nations Security Council unanimously passed toughened sanctions against North Korea on Friday, condemning its latest test of an intercontinental ballistic missile on November 29.

The United States on Tuesday sanctioned two senior North Korean officials for their involvement in the regime's illicit ballistic missile program. Any of their property within US jurisdiction is blocked and American citizens are generally banned from engaging in transactions with them.

"He said the offensive should be launched in the party cells, the bases educating the party members and other working people and training them into revolutionaries and the lowest revolutionary posts defending Korean-style socialism", the North's official Korean Central News Agency said in its English edition.

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A Reuters investigation in May said that the two men, along with weapons developer Jang Chan-ha, were handpicked by Kim Jong-un and were very popular with him.

They were both among 16 North Koreans placed under United Nations sanctions on Friday.

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

Friday's resolution requires United Nations member states to repatriate North Korean overseas workers within 24 months.

Over the past few months Kim and U.S President Donald Trump also engaged in incessant verbal spat, with the latter branding the former as "rocket man", and the North Korean leader calling Trump a "mentally-deranged dotard" in response. It also prohibits the export of certain items including machinery, electrical equipment and wood. He added that the move followed the UN Security Council (UNSC) passing another resolution on December 22, which imposed additional restrictions on Pyongyang over its recent missile test.

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