Photo provided by Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 30, 2017 shows the test-firing of a ballistic missile. (Xinhua/KCNA)
WASHINGTON, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Tuesday issued sanctions on two citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) over the alleged involvement in the country's ballistic missile programs.
As a result of the action, any property or interests of the designated persons in the United States will be blocked and transactions by Americans involving these persons are generally prohibited, said a U.S. Treasury Department statement.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have reached an unprecedented level this year as the DPRK launched a nuclear test and multiple missile launches and the United States and South Korea have constantly conducted joint military drills.
The crisis has also been worsened by the exchange of personal insults and confrontational rhetoric between the leaders of the United States and the DPRK.
The U.S. administration, under President Donald Trump, has been sticking to a strategy of "maximum pressure" on the DPRK to force it to abandon its weapons programs, but so far has failed to achieve its goals.