WASHINGTON, March 31 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. government announced Friday sanctions on one entity and 11 individuals for their links to the nuclear and missile programs by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

"Today's action targets North Korean nationals working as agents of the regime in Russia, China, Vietnam, and Cuba to provide financial support or WMD procurement services for UN- or U.S.-designated sanctioned entities," the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement.

The action was taken "in response to North Korea's ongoing development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and continued violations of United Nations Security Council Resolutions," it added.

The one entity that was sanctioned is the DPRK-based Paeksol Trading Corporation (Paeksol), which the U.S. alleged has sold, supplied, transferred, or purchased metal or coal to earn revenue that may have benefited the DPRK.

The individuals included Kang Chol Su, Pak Il Gyu and Ri Su Yong, who are officials of the Korea Ryonbong General Corporation (Ryonbong). Kang and Pak are Ryonbong officials in China, while Ri is a Ryonbong official in Cuba.

Meanwhile, Kim Tong Ho, Kim Mun Chol, Kim Nam Ung, and Choe Chun Yong were also sanctioned by the U.S. for being representatives of several banks involved in the DPRK nuclear and missile programs.

Jang Sung Nam, chief of Tangun Trading Corporation branch in China, Jo Chol Song, Kwangson Banking Corporation's (KKBC's) deputy representative in China, Han Jang Su, Foreign Trade Bank's chief representative in Russia, and Kim Yong Su, shipping representative for the DPRK's Marine Transport Office in Vietnam, were also on the list.

The sanctions are aimed at disrupting the networks and methods that the DPRK employs to fund its nuclear, ballistic missile and proliferation programs, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.