An executive order signed by U.S. President Barack Obama and released by the White House late Monday targets arms dealers to North Korea and those helping the country with illicit economic activities.
Obama, in the executive order, said the entities targeted by the sanctions "constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat" to the United States.
Obama complains the threat comes from North Korea's announcement that it tested a nuclear device in 2009, "illicit and deceptive" acts in international markets and most recently, an attack on the Korean naval ship Cheonan, which killed 46 sailors in March.
The U.S. Treasury Department in a joint effort with the State Department targeted five North Korean entities and three people for supporting a program of weapons of mass destruction.
Several of the entities listed in by the Treasury Department are tied to North Korea's nuclear program.
Israeli jets bombed the Dair Alzour facility near al-Kibar in Syria in 2007. Intelligence officials said the site was a nuclear reactor of North Korean design under construction since 2001.