Nine entities and 16 individuals were sanctioned over their ties to North Korea, according to the statement by the Treasury Department on Wednesday. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that Washington will keep sanctioning oil, shipping, and trading firms that provide a "lifeline" to the DPRK fuelling the "regime’s nuclear ambitions and destabilizing activities."
The step authorizes the US government to block any assets held by individuals or firms in America and prohibits US nationals from dealing with those actors.
"Treasury continues to systematically target individuals and entities financing the Kim regime and its weapons programs, including officials complicit in North Korean sanctions evasion schemes," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated on Wednesday, adding that Washington will keep targeting individuals all over the world.
This round of sanctions is the latest in a string of restrictive measures that Washingon had used against the DPRK to prevent the country from developing nuclear arms. On December 22, 2017, the UN unanimously passed the resolution to strengthen anti-Pyongyang sanctions, restricting fuel imports and other trade, as well as prohibiting North Koreans from working abroad.
This comes amid a fragile thaw between two Koreas that had recently decided to restore a military hotline and renew the talks. The two countries have also decided to take part in the upcoming Olympic Games under a unified flag.