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PoliticsNorth Korea

US hits N. Korea with sanctions over ICBM test

March 25, 2022

The measures come after North Korea said it had tested its biggest intercontinental ballistic missile yet. The UN Security Council is to hold an emergency meeting over Pyongyang's launch later on Friday.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walks away from what state media report is a "new type" of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in this undated photo released on March 24, 2022 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
North Korea said it was now 'fully ready' for confrontation with the USImage: KCNA via REUTERS

The United States has announced sanctions on several entities and individuals in Russia, China and North Korea for their role in advancing North Korea's missile program.

The measures come after North Korea said it had tested its biggest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) yet. 

The US State Department said sanctions on "five entities and individuals located in Russia and the DPRK and one entity in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for proliferation activities," under Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act (INKSNA) would remain in place for two years.

It accused targeted entities of "transferring sensitive items to North Korea's missile program."

Russia's ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, quickly slammed the new sanctions, saying: "serial sanctions will not achieve their goals."

What we know about Pyongyang's ICBM test

North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency reported that Pyongyang test-fired the ICBM under the order of leader Kim Jong Un, who vowed to expand the North's "nuclear war deterrent" to be prepared for what he described as a confrontation with the US.

The new missile "would make the whole world clearly aware of the power of our strategic armed forces once again," Kim said, according to KCNA.

It was "fully ready for long-standing confrontation with the US imperialist powers," he reportedly added.

KCNA said that the Hwasong-17 missile was fired at a high angle to avoid the territorial waters of neighbors to a height of 6,248 kilometers (3,880 miles) and to a range of 1,090 kilometers. The missile flew for around 67 minutes before landing in waters between North Korea and Japan.

Japan and South Korean officials revealed similar details Thursday, but Japan's coast guard said the missile landed within Japan's exclusive economic zone.

South Korea said it stood ready to counter North Korea's missile launch pads and other facilities. 

Officials went into diplomatic overdrive Thursday, with Japanese and South Korean military officials holding separate phone calls with the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin.

Japan and South Korean officials separately said they would seek further UN Security Council action. 

Pyongyang's ballistic missile tests are banned by the UN's most powerful body, but there is no agreement to typify a common stance on the North's actions, partly because Russia and China, whom the North is allied with, are members of the Security Council too.

The council is due to hold an emergency session on Pyongyang's launch later on Friday.

Thursday's test was North Korea's 12th round of launches this year.

rm/nm (AP, Reuters)