Washington: In a protest against North Korea's continued ballistic missile launches including intercontinental missiles, the US on Friday imposed sanctions on two individuals and three entities for supporting DPRK's weapons programmes.
The US State Department said that these individuals and entities are connected to the "delivery of refined petroleum to North Korea, an action which directly supports the development of DPRK weapons programs and its military." "The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) continues its unprecedented pace, scale, and scope of ballistic missile launches this year. This year alone, it has launched 41 ballistic missiles. Six of these were intercontinental ballistic missiles," State Department said.
It added that these sanctions will send a clear message that US will continue to take "action against those who support the development and sustainment of the DPRK's military and weapons arsenal."
The US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assests Control (OFAC) designated the entity New Eastern Shipping Co Ltd., along with the individuals Kwek Kee Seng and Chen Shih Huan, for having participated in the transfer or delivery of refined petroleum products to the DPRK.
OFAC is also designating two entities owned or controlled by these individuals -- Anfsar Trading (S) Pte. Ltd. and Swanseas Port Services Pte. Ltd.
US said that the UN Security Council resolutions prohibit ship-to-ship transfers of any cargo to or from DPRK-flagged vessels and limit the DPRK's import of refined petroleum products to 500,000 barrels per year starting in 2018 -- a cap that the DPRK has broken every year since it was imposed.
"Any imports of refined petroleum to the DPRK under the cap are illicit if not reported to the UN 1718 Committee. By designating these entities and individuals, the United States is sending a clear message that we will continue to take actions against those who support the development and sustainment of the DPRK's military and weapons arsenal," it added.