By Byun Duk-kun
WASHINGTON, May 27 (Yonhap) -- The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on four entities, including a North Korean national, for supporting North Korea's weapons of mass destruction development programs, the Department of Treasury said.
The move comes after North Korea fired three ballistic missile, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), earlier this week.
"So far this year, the DPRK has launched 23 ballistic missiles, including six ICBMs -- all in violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions," the department said in a press release, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Those newly sanctioned include two banks -- Far Eastern Bank and Bank Sputnik -- and Air Koryo Trading Corporation, according to the department.
The department also designated Jong Yong-nam, a representative of a subordinate organization of North Korea's Second Academy of Natural Sciences, which was designated by the U.S. in August 2010.
The treasury department said the North Korean national has been located in Minsk, Belarus.
"Today Treasury is targeting supporters of the DPRK's WMD and ballistic missile programs, as well as foreign financial institutions that have knowingly provided significant financial services to the DPRK government," Brian Nelson, under secretary of treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, was quoted as saying.
North Korea conducted 17 rounds of missile tests this year, and it is widely anticipated that Pyongyang will conduct a nuclear test in the near future.
"The United States remains committed to seeking dialogue and diplomacy with the DPRK but will continue to address the threat posed by the DPRK's unlawful WMD and ballistic missile programs to the United States and the international community," the department said.
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