According to the Treasury Department, US sanctioned two Russian individuals and three businesses on Friday for their support for North Korea's nuclear development.
The moves occurred a day after the Pentagon released an intelligence assessment claiming that two recent missile launches by North Korea were tests for a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system.
In a statement, the Treasury under-secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, Brian Nelson, said the penalties target "a network of Russia-based persons and businesses engaged in helping (North Korea) purchase components for its illicit ballistic missile systems."
"Much of this work also breaches UN prohibitions with respect to the DPRK," the statement continued, referring to North Korea's official name.
Since the beginning of the year, North Korea has launched multiple missiles, claiming that the two most recent tests were for satellite development.
The launches on February 26 and March 4 were seen as a "significant escalation" by a US official.
In the Treasury statement, Nelson stated, "The DPRK continues to fire ballistic missiles in flagrant violation of international law, posing a significant threat to world security."
On Monday, Washington and its UN Security Council allies failed to persuade China and Russia to support a statement condemning North Korea's "violations" of resolutions on missile technology.
Since high-profile meetings between leader Kim Jong Un and then-US president Donald Trump ended in 2019, Pyongyang has rebuffed US offers of dialogue. Since high-profile discussions between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and then-US President Donald Trump ended in 2019, Pyongyang has rebuffed US offers of dialogue. Since high-profile conversations between leader Kim Jong Un and then-US president Donald Trump ended in 2019, Pyongyang has rebuffed US offers of talks despite harsh international sanctions over its nuclear weapons.
Instead of dialogue, Pyongyang has redoubled its efforts to modernize its military, threatening to end a self-imposed moratorium on long-range missile and nuclear tests in January.