Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

OFAC designates two more North Korean officials

Russia: US 'Aggressive Rhetoric' on North Korea Fueling Tensions US sanctions 2 North Korean officials over missile program
Andrew Cummings | 27 December, 2017, 02:22

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Friday that the tense standoff between North Korea and the United States was on the verge of large-scale conflict and said it was a mistake to try to pressure Pyongyang over its nuclear missile programme.

The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions on two key North Korean officials on Tuesday for their reported involvement in Pyongyang's ballistic missile program.

"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 new U.S. sanctions will block any transactions by the two men carried out in the USA, essentially freezing any American assets they may have. The department says Kim Jong-sik, a veteran rocket scientist, is a key figure responsible for advancing the program to a point where the regime is successfully testing ICBMs capable of reaching the USA mainland. Solid fueling may allow the country to launch missiles with less advance warning.

The resolution, which came in response to the November test, seeks to slash exports of refined petroleum products to North Korea by 89 percent.

The new measures order North Koreans working overseas to return home within two years, and ban almost 90 per cent of refined petroleum exports to the country.

On Monday, Pyongyang, which sees joint war games between the United States and South Korea as preparations for invasion, raised the stakes in its stand-off with the United States and its allies by firing an intermediate-range missile over Japan.

Here are the most popular products from Amazon's 'biggest ever' holiday season
Both placed Amazon Alexa - the voice-based assistant software behind Amazon Echo - as the most downloaded app on Christmas Day . In the USA , more than 6,000 trailers and 32 Amazon Air planes helped get holiday orders to customers this season.

Metro Detroit Weather: More snow on the way this Christmas day
Bitterly cold air moves in with low temperatures dropping to 8 degrees north of I-70 to 12 degrees at the Lake of the Ozarks. The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory for an area of Wisconsin that includes Kenosha County.

USF scores late TD, wins wild Birmingham Bowl over Texas Tech
Late in the third, Texas Tech's defense came up big with a red zone stop forged by Dakota Allen and it's a turnover on downs. The Red Raiders more than quadrupled the amount of yards of South Florida, 180-46, and own the time of possession.

Trump habitually refers to Kim as "Little Rocket Man" and has threatened to utterly destroy his regime with "fire and fury".

In a phone call Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told his US counterpart, Rex Tillerson, that it is "necessary to move from the language of sanctions to the negotiating process as soon as possible", the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement, according to AFP.

North Korea has continued developing its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs in violation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions.

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

Kim Jong Sik is considered the mastermind of North Korea's missile program.

Pyongyang launched its Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite in February 2016, which much of the global community viewed as a disguised ballistic missile test.

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