South Korea imposes sanctions linked to North Korea weapon development

South Korea imposes sanctions linked to North Korea weapon development


The sanctions come days after North Korea fired a new hypersonic missile.

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SEOUL, (Reuters) - South Korea has sanctioned two individuals, three entities and 11 ships linked to North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes, its foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

The sanctions announcement comes days after North Korea fired a new intermediate range, solid-fuel hypersonic missile, which South Korea and the United States strongly condemned as a serious violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Pyongyang has also announced a break with decades of cross-border policy, dismantling some government entities handling inter-Korean ties and declaring the South a separate, enemy state.

The newly blacklisted targets have chiefly been involved in illegal energy smuggling at sea, the ministry said.

Faced with a drawn-out gridlock at the United Nations, Seoul has turned to slapping sanctions on Pyongyang independently or together with Washington and Tokyo, seeking to squeeze its funding sources. 

South Korea's military said on Wednesday that its navy held three-day joint maritime drills from Monday with U.S. and Japanese troops involving American aircraft carrier Carl Vinson to improve their responses to North Korea's threats.

The three countries' nuclear envoys are also scheduled to hold talks in Seoul on Thursday.

Leader of South Korea's main opposition Democratic Party, which has long pushed for inter-Korean reconciliation, on Wednesday criticised North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for describing the South as the "primary foe."

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has said Pyongyang's move was a political act aimed at dividing the South, and warned that any North Korean provocations would be met with responses on a "multiplied scale."