South Korea, Japan sanction North Korean individuals, institutions over missile tests -

3 February, Friday

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South Korea, Japan sanction North Korean individuals, institutions over missile tests

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South Korea and Japan on Friday imposed new sanctions against nine individuals and nine institutions of North Korea for involvement in the regime's secretive nuclear and missile development programs, Ednews reports citing Anadolu Agency. 

In Seoul, the Foreign Ministry announced sanctions against six North Korean individuals from the North's Foreign Trade Bank of Korea, Korea Daesong Bank, and Kumgang Group Bank, as well as two others, a Singaporean and a Taiwanese, Yonhap News Agency reported.

"Those added to the blacklist include officials at financial institutions related to the North's nuclear and missile programs, and those involved in illegal ship-to-ship transfers of sanctioned North Korean goods," the agency said, citing a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Seoul sanctioned four North Korean trade and shipping companies and three Singapore-based shipping firms.

Earlier, the Japanese government also decided to freeze the assets of two trading companies, one hacking group, as well as one individual for their alleged “involvement in North Korea’s nuclear weapon and missile development programs.”

“The individual, Kim Su Il, represents the Vietnamese branch of North Korea's Munitions Industry Department, which is a designated entity involved in supervising the nation's weapons programs,” the Japanese Foreign Ministry told Tokyo-based Kyodo News.

The government's top spokesperson, Hirokazu Matsuno, described Pyongyang's missile tests as “serious and imminent threats to Japan and the international community.”

The latest development comes in response to North Korea's long-range missile launch last month.

In October, South Korea imposed sanctions on 15 North Korean individuals and 16 institutions in response to its missile tests and drills by tactical nuclear operation units.

Ahead of South Korea and Japan's announcement, the US also designated three senior North Korean members of the ruling Workers' Party in connection with the country's weapons development program, according to the news agency.

Tensions on the peninsula rose in 2020 when North Korea attacked and blew up the inter-Korean liaison office along the border. Seoul has threatened a strong response if Pyongyang "further worsens the situation."

However, tensions soared further recently after Seoul and Washington held joint military drills.

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