U.S. beefs up sanctions against DPRK
The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions against two companies that were allegedly involved in nuclear weapon and missiles-making activities by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Xinhua reported.
The United States will freeze any assets held by Namchongang Trading Corp. of the DPRK, and bar it from any dealings with American companies or individuals, the State Department said in a statement.
The U.S. Treasury also ordered sanctions on Hong Kong Electronics, an Iranian firm, for allegedly aiding Pyongyang's Tanchon Commercial Bank and Korea Mining Development Trading Corp..
Tanchon Commercial Bank and Korea Mining Development Trading Corp. have been designated for proliferation by the United States and the United Nations Security Council under UNSC Resolution 1718, which authorized international sanctions against the DPRK and demanded Pyongyang halt nuclear weapons and ballistic missile activities.
"North Korea uses front companies like Hong Kong Electronics and a range of other deceptive practices to obscure the true nature of its financial dealings, making it nearly impossible for responsible banks and governments to distinguish legitimate from illegitimate North Korean transactions," said Stuart Levey, undersecretary of treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence.
"Today's action is a part of our overall effort to prevent North Korea from misusing the international financial system to advance its nuclear and missile programs and to sell dangerous technology around the world," said Levey.
The latest U.S. sanctions against the DPRK came after Pyongyang conducted in May an underground nuclear test and subsequent missile launches, and the UN Security Council, in response, adopted a resolution expanding sanctions on the country.