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>> A precise approach to new North Korea sanctions as the US took aim at top officials behind the ballistic missile program on Tuesday. The US Treasury said it's all part of a, quote, maximum pressure campaign to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. The two men it targeted are among the favorites of leader Kim Jong Un, and top experts at making the North's weapons.
A treasury report says one of the men, Kim Jong Sheek is a major figure in Pyongyang's efforts to switch its missiles from liquid to solid fuel, which helps make launch pads more mobile. Well Ri Pyong Chol is a key players in advancing the North's ICPM program. Photos and TV footage show both acting casual around Supreme Leader Kim, where most senior aides would keep their distance.
However, these restrictions are largely symbolic, they only block both of them from property under US reach and forbid dealings with US citizens. Also on Tuesday, Russia offered wade into the fray to help mediate between Washington and Pyongyang. In response the State Department said the US can already talk to North Korea quote through a variety of channels and that it's up to North Korea to change course.