Friday, May 27th, the United States announced new financial sanctions in response to North Korean missile launches. These sanctions targeted two Russian banks that were accused of funding North Korea’s weapons-of-mass destruction program. These sanctions come after Russia and China rejected a US resolution Thursday at the UN Security Council that would have strengthened international sanctions against Pyongyang.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US Ambassador to United Nations, accused Beijing and Moscow of supporting Pyongyang and promised new unilateral punitive actions from Washington. The sanctions are directed at Far Eastern Bank (or Bank Sputnik), two Russian institutions that the US Treasury claims have “knowingly provided significant financial service” to North Korea.

They also targeted Jong Yong Nam who is, according to the Treasury works from Belarus which is an ally Russia for the North Korean weapons research institute as well as a company associated with the North Korean airline Air Koryo. This company was already on the American blacklist.

Their assets in the United States have been frozen and they are barred from accessing the American market. Treasury recalls that North Korea launched three missiles, including one intercontinental, just after US President Joe Biden’s visit in Asia. This brings to 23 missile launches since the beginning of the year, “in violation” of numerous UN Security Council resolutions.

The undersecretary stated that the United States would continue to enforce and implement sanctions, while urging North Korea back to diplomacy to abandon its development and use of weapons of mass destruction. This release was sent to Treasury Brian Nelson.