United States announces sanctions on two officials over North Korea's missile program

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North Korea has continued its missile tests, despite the many sanctions targeting exports, imports and officials behind the program.

The U.S. Treasury said in a statement Tuesday the two officials, Kim Jong Sik and Ri Pyong Chol, are being singled out for pushing forward with producing weapons of mass destruction.

The sanctions by the Treasury Department mean that any assets the two men hold in the United States can be seized and that Americans are prohibited from dealing with them. Trump has provoked North Korea in the past by making fun of leader Kim Jong-un, calling him "short and fat" and nicknaming him "Rocket Man".

In a statement published on Sunday by the state-run KCNA news agency, the North Korean foreign ministry denounced the new United Nations sanctions as "an act of war". The regime's latest nuclear test was in September, involving what it claimed to be a hydrogen bomb.

The two officials were listed last Friday in a new United Nations Security Council resolution sanctioning North Korea, Treasury said.

With messages of peace Christmas celebrated across Kashmir
Shah said the officials of the Tourism department would also attend travel and trade fairs to woo more tourists to Kashmir. The Christian community in the metropolis on Monday celebrated Christmas with due religious fervour and enthusiasm.

Last week, the UNSC unanimously imposed a new round of sanctions on North Korea that particularly limited its refined petroleum product imports and banned all remaining major exports.

On Monday, Pyongyang, which sees joint war games between the United States and South Korea as preparations for invasion, raised the stakes in its stand-off with the United States and its allies by firing an intermediate-range missile over Japan.

In a phone call Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told his US counterpart, Rex Tillerson, that it is "necessary to move from the language of sanctions to the negotiating process as soon as possible", the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement, according to AFP.

Pyongyang has responded with various threats, including detonating a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean. North Korean citizens working in other countries will also have to return in the next 24 months, preventing the country from obtaining foreign currency. He added that the move followed the UN Security Council (UNSC) passing another resolution on December 22, which imposed additional restrictions on Pyongyang over its recent missile test.

Today the Kremlin said Russian Federation could help bring the Trump and Kim together if both sides were willing.