The United States has added more names to its list of institutions and individuals involved in North Korea's nuclear programs.
The newly enlisted entities are Daedong Credit Bank in Pyongyang and its front company DCB Financial, which is registered in the British Virgin Islands.
The individuals are DCB Financial representative Kim Chol-sam and Son Mun-san, the external affairs bureau chief of the North's General Bureau of Atomic Energy.
These firms and individuals are now barred from doing business with U.S. companies and any assets they have in the U.S. will be frozen.
In a press release, the U.S. Treasury Department reaffirmed its commitment to increase the sanctions pressure on North Korea until it complies with its international obligations.
The additional sanctions come at a time when Pyongyang is actively reaching out for dialogue.
Earlier this month, North Korea proposed to hold high-level talks with the U.S. on pressing issues including denuclearization, but Washington has remained firm on its position that it will only hold "authentic and credible" negotiations with the North.
Speaking before a subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday, James Zumwalt, acting principal deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said the U.S. has yet to see any concrete actions suggesting that North Korea is sincere about denuclearization.
Zumwalt said that Washington will coordinate closely with Seoul and the other members of six-party denuclearization talks on North Korea policy.. and stressed that relations between the U.S. and North Korea cannot improve without sustained improvement in inter-Korean relations.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.