South Korea expects no issues with Pyongyang games

Cheryl Sanders
April 2, 2017

A statement released by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday said the sanctions aim to disrupt networks and methods that fund Pyongyang's nuclear, ballistic missile and proliferation programs.

The Treasury Department said Friday that it blacklisted one North Korean firm and eleven more individuals in accordance with three executive orders. The Trump administration has vowed to take a tougher stance against the regime after years of failed attempts to denuclearize North Korea.

North Korea has launched at least three test missiles in the last month, rattling US allies in the region.

North Korea on Friday urged South Korean political parties, organizations and people from all walks of life to rally against the USA and war via its nominal political party's letter of plea sent to them in an apparent bid to defend its stance on tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

One person on the sanctioned list worked as a North Korean government official who was trying to establish a cargo shipping route between North Korea and Vietnam, Treasury said.

Tensions on the peninsula are now high, with South Korea saying last week that the North was ready to carry out a new nuclear test.

Pyongyang has enjoyed a decades-long alliance with Beijing but has been known to carry out provocations in line with Chinese efforts to cooperate with Seoul and Washington.

The North also denounced ongoing military drills involving American hardware and troops in South Korea.

Added to these tensions, April is an important month on the North Korean calendar - the regime celebrates the anniversary of founding president Kim Il Sung's birthday on April 15 - and North Korea has a habit of timing provocative actions with key dates. This comes as the UN Security Council and the worldwide community zero in on the North's coal production, considered the regime's lifeline, as part of sanctions for its nuclear and missile provocations.

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