WASHINGTON – The United States government announced on Tuesday new, unspecified sanctions against Pyongyang for using a chemical weapon to assassinate Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, in February 2017.
These sanctions, in addition to the numerous existing sanctions, come after the investigation into the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, which occurred on Feb. 13, 2017 at the airport in the Malaysian capital city of Kuala Lumpur, was concluded on Feb. 22.
The investigation found that Kim Jong-nam was murdered with the highly toxic liquid nerve agent VX used as a chemical weapon, resulting in automatic sanctions in compliance with the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991.
Although announced on Tuesday, the sanctions went into effect since Monday, according to the US State Department.
The announcement was made on the same day that Kim Jong-un said he was willing to negotiate on denuclearization with the US, an offer that US President Donald Trump cautiously welcomed, hoping that it could bear fruit.
“I think that they are sincere, but I think they are sincere also because the sanctions and what we’re doing with respect to North Korea, including the great help that we’ve been given from China,” Trump said at a press conference during which he did not commit to a formal negotiation with Pyongyang.