US sanctions North Korean individual with ties to nuclear programs

Seoul: The United States Department of the Treasury has sanctioned a North Korean individual with ties to the communist state’s missile and nuclear programs.

The Vietnam-based North Korean, Kim Su Il, was identified by the Treasury as a member of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea and an employee of its affiliated Munitions Industry Department, which is involved in developing North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction.

The MID is under sanctions by the United States and the United Nations Security Council, which found that

the group is in charge of North Korea’s weapons research and production, including its ballistic missile

program. The MID also oversees Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

“Treasury continues to enforce existing sanctions against those who violate United Nations Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs) and evade U.S. sanctions on North Korea’s unlawful nuclear and ballistic missile

programs,” said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, in a statement. “Kim Su Il has violated UNSCRs and supports North Korea’s weapons program.”

Kim Su Il was assigned to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in 2016 to perform economic, trading, mining and

shipping associated with the MID’s business activities, earning foreign currency for the North Korean regime, the Treasury Department said.

The new sanctions come days after North Korea fired two new short-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of

Japan in a gesture state-controlled media described as a “solemn warning” to South Korea over its military drills with the United States.

Despite a dramatic face-to-face meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim

Jong Un on June 30, nuclear negotiations that were halted in the aftermath of a failed February summit inHanoi have not yet restarted.

Washington and Pyongyang remain apart on questions of the timing and sequencing of North Korea denuclearization. North Korea is looking for some sanctions to be lifted in exchange for steps towards

dismantling its nuclear program, such as decommissioning its Yongbyon nuclear facility, while the United States has held out for complete denuclearization first.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday that Washington is looking for ways to resolve the


“We hope that there are creative solutions to unlocking this,” Pompeo said in remarks to the Economic Club of

Washington D.C.

However, he maintained Washington’s commitment to the international sanctions regime.

“We have to remember, too, these aren’t U.S. sanctions; these are U.N. Security Council resolutions,” he said.

“These are global sanctions put on by every single country, and so we are mindful that we are the steward for enforcing those.”

Pompeo added that he hopes to have “working-level discussions starting again very soon” with North Korea.

Monday’s designation against Kim Su Il freezes all of his property and interests in the United States and bars American citizens from any business dealings with him.