The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump imposed new sanctions Wednesday aimed at halting North Korea's nuclear and missile development programs.
The Department of Treasury placed sanctions on nine entities, including two China-based trading firms that helped export millions of dollars' worth of metals and other materials used in Pyongyang's defense sector.
Sixteen individuals were also targeted, including members of the ruling Workers Party of Korea, who conduct business in China, Russia and the region of Abkhazia, a partially recognized state south of Russia and northwest of Georgia. The Treasury Department urged those countries to expel the individuals, who are prohibited from dealing with Americans.
Ten China- and Russian-based representatives of the Korean Ryonbong General Corporation were among those targeted. The company supports Pyongyang's defense industry and is already under U.S. and U.N. sanctions.
Five North Korean shipping companies and six vessels were also among the blacklisted entities.
"Treasury continues to systematically target individuals and entities financing the Kim [Jong-un] regime and its weapons programs, including officials complicit in North Korean sanctions evasion schemes," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
The latest sanctions come as the global community has resorted to an economic crackdown to curb the aggression of Kim's regime. But the U.S. and other countries have cited continuous violations of the sanctions meant to deter the North's nuclear and missile development programs.