US sanctions companies, individuals financing North Korea government

FILE – The Department of the Treasury’s seal outside the Treasury Department building in Washington on May 4, 2021. The national debt is at the core of a dispute about how to raise the government’s legal borrowing authority, which could come to a head this summer if the government runs out of accounting maneuvers to keep paying its bills. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on five companies and individuals for illicitly generating revenue for the North Korean government.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced that it sanctioned three companies and two individuals for financing the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The office said that the Chilsong Trading Corporation was used by the government of North Korea to collect intelligence and earn foreign currency. The Korea Paekho Trading Corporation, according to the release, has also generated funds for the North Korean government since the 1980s by completing art and construction projects for regimes in the Middle East and Africa.

OFAC also sanctioned two individuals, Hwang Kil Su and Pak Hwa Song, for raising funds for the government of North Korea by establishing Congo Aconde SARL, a company that earned revenue from construction and statue-building projects in local governments.

North Korea launched four missiles in a figure-eight pattern last week after the U.S. and South Korea conducted military drills in the region.

“The DPRK’s unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs threaten international security and regional stability,” the Treasury’s Under Secretary of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said. “The United States remains committed to targeting the regime’s global illicit networks that generate revenue for these destabilizing activities.”

The European Union, according to the release, also previously designated Chilsong, Paekho, Pak and Hwang for engaging in sanctions evasion and being responsible for supporting the DPRK’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

According to Wednesdays sanctions, all of the property and interests of those companies that reside in the U.S. will be blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are directly or indirectly owned 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked, the office said.

Tags DPRK North Korea Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctions Treasury Department

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