The Biden administration announced this Friday that it is imposing sanctions on several businessmen and companies in Asia that according to officials support the development of weapons by North Korea and its army.

The US government’s action comes amid heightened tensions with North Korea, which has conducted missile tests 24 times this year, some involving multiple rounds.

On Monday, Pyongyang fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile at Japan, which flew 2,800 miles, the longest distance a North Korean weapon has ever traveled.

The United States and South Korea fired missiles in an exercise Wednesday, and the Pentagon moved an aircraft carrier to an area east of North Korea.

“The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea continues its unprecedented pace, scale and range of ballistic missile launches this year,” US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said in a statement, using the formal name of North Korea.

“In this year alone, it launched 41 ballistic missiles. Six of them were intercontinental.”

Officials from the United States, South Korea and Japan are awaiting a possible nuclear test by Kim Jong-Un, the leader of North Korea.

If North Korea goes through with it, it could instantly become a crisis in Washington and in Asian capitals and add to global fears, which are intensifying as Russia’s Vladimir V. Putin threatens to use nuclear weapons in his war. with Ukraine.

“We haven’t faced the possibility of Armageddon since the Kennedy Missile Crisis and the Cubans,” President Biden said of Putin’s threats during a Democratic fundraiser in New York.

Some analysts say that Kim is unlikely to carry out a nuclear test during the 20th congress of the Communist Party of China, which begins on October 16 in Beijing.

That conclave is crucial for Xi Jinping, the Chinese leader, who is expected to extend his term for another five years.

North Korea relies on China for economic and diplomatic support, though Kim has also espoused an ideology of self-sufficiency.

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