U.S. hits North Korea with sanctions after missile test

The White House slapped down the first Biden-era sanctions over North Korea's weapons program on Wednesday.

That move came as North Korean state media released more images of the country's recent missile launches.

KRT showed photos of Kim Jong Un watching this week's missile test - the first one he's officially attended in nearly two years.

The new U.S. sanctions target six North Koreans, one Russian, and a Russian firm, accusing them of procuring goods from Russia and China for Pyongyang's weapons program.

The U.S. is putting pressure on the U.N. Security Council to take similar action.

Washington wants five of those individuals to also be subject to a U.N. travel ban and asset freezes.

Any measure would, however, need consensus agreement by the body's 15-member North Korea sanctions committee.

Since Biden took office in January last year, he has sought unsuccessfully to engage Pyongyang in dialogue to persuade it to give up its nuclear bombs and missiles.

A spokesman for the State Department said the U.S. remained committed to pursuing diplomacy with North Korea.

Pyongyang has been accused of carrying out six ballistic missile launches since September, each of which violated U.N. Security Council resolutions.

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