The United States has sanctioned two North Korean officials known for their role behind North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s missile program, according to a notice posted to the U.S. Treasury Department’s website Tuesday.
The men, Kim Jong Sik and Ri Pyong Chol, are known as two of the three people behind Kim’s banned rocket program and are often seen with the leader.
“Treasury is targeting leaders of North Korea’s ballistic missile programs, as part of our maximum pressure campaign to isolate the DPRK and achieve a fully denuclearized Korean Peninsula,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
Kim Jong Sik is a key figure in North Korea’s program to convert liquid fuel to solid, according to the Treasury Department. Solid fueling may allow the country to launch missiles with less advance warning.
Former air force general Ri Pyong Chol is also reportedly a key figure in North Korea’s missile programs.
The sanctions follow a U.N. Security Council resolution adopted Friday that imposes new, harsh sanctions in response to the country’s Nov. 28 ballistic missile launch.