U.S. sanctions 5 North Koreans over weapons programs following missile launches

People watch a TV broadcasting file footage of a news report on North Korea firing what appeared to be a pair of missiles off its east coast, in South Korea, September 15, 2021.

The Biden administration imposed sanctions on five North Koreans for their work in developing weapons of mass destruction and missile programs.

At least two North Korean missile tests have been reported.

The second launch was on Monday. It traveled over 400 miles before plunging into the East Sea, according to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Brian Nelson, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said in a statement that the United States is trying to counter the weapons of mass destruction and missile programs of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The latest missile launches by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea are further evidence that it continues to advance prohibited programs despite calls for diplomacy and denuclearization.

The individuals are designated.

Choe Myong Hyon is a Russia-based national of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Sim Kwang Sok is a China-based chief representative who has worked to procure steel.
Kim Song Hun is a China-based representative who has worked to procure software and chemicals.
A China-based representative has procured goods from Chinese companies.
The deputy representative of a suspected cover company for a Second Academy of Natural Sciences-subordinate organization located in China was assigned to work in the year 2014).

Last week, it was claimed that a test of a sophisticated hypersonic missile was successful.

John Kirby, Pentagon spokesman, said Monday that the U.S. was still assessing whether the test was of a hypersonic missile with a warhead.

All missile tests by North Korea are banned by the UN.

The missile tests, which follow a series of weapons tests in 2021, underscore third-generation North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's ambition to expand military capabilities.

The state of North Korea has conducted a nuclear test, launched an intercontinental missile and threatened to send missiles into the waters near Guam.