US desigantes 5 Russian entities for aiding N.Korea’s missile programe

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The US has imposed sanctions on five Russian entities for aiding North Korea’s ballistic missile programmes.

On Friday, the US Treasury Department said the two Russian individuals and three companies have been helping Park Kwang-hun, a North Korean representative based in Vladivostok who was designated by both Washington and the UN in 2018 for procuring supplies for the North’s illicit weapons programmes, Yonhap News Agency reported.

“As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the individuals and entities that are in the US or in the possession or control of US persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC (office of foreign assets control),” the Department added.

The move came a day after the US said the North had tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system in its recent missile tests, conducted on February 27 and March 5.

A senior US administration official here also said the North may be preparing to stage an ICBM test “at full range”.

North Korea has maintained a self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and ICBM testing since November 2017, but said in January that it may consider “restarting all temporarily-suspended activities.”

Sources in South Korea have said the North appeared to be repairing a nuclear test site that it purportedly demolished in 2018 to show its willingness to denuclearize amid leader Kim Jong-un’s dialogue with then US President Donald Trump.

Seoul also confirmed its steadfast commitment to closely working with Washington to strengthen their defence posture against the North’s testing of the ICBM system.

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