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US slaps sanctions on Pyongyang over use of chemical weapons

March 07, 7:32 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

The new measures are an "addition to existing US comprehensive sanctions against targeting unlawful North Korean activities"

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© Drew Angerer/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, March 7. /TASS/. The US Department of State has announced that sanctions will be imposed on North Korea for using chemical weapons in last year’s assassination of North Korean leader’s half-brother in the Kuala Lumpur airport.

"On February 22, 2018, the United States determined <…> that the Government of North Korea used the chemical warfare agent VX to assassinate Kim Jong Nam, in the Kuala Lumpur airport," US Secretary of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert said.

She said the new measures "are in addition to existing US comprehensive sanctions against targeting unlawful North Korean activities."

"The sanctions took effect upon publication of this determination in the Federal Register on March 5, 2018," the spokesperson said.

She went on to say that "the United States strongly condemns the use of chemical weapons to conduct an assassination."

"We cannot afford to tolerate a North Korean WMD program of any kind," Nauert added.

Kim Jong-nam, the elder half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, died on February 13, 2017, on the way to hospital from the Kuala Lumpur airport. Before his death, he applied to the airport’s ground service for help, complaining about strong dizziness and saying that an unknown person had sprayed some liquid in his face and escaped.

The Malaysian police announced on February 24, 2017, that the autopsy results suggested Kim Jong-nam had died of his exposure to VX nerve agent.

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