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Treasury sanctions 5 North Koreans in response to ‘prohibited’ missile launches

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The Biden administration on Wednesday sanctioned five North Korean individuals who it says are responsible for procuring goods for Pyongyang’s ballistic missile program. 

The sanctions were issued following North Korea’s launch of a reported advanced ballistic missile that landed in the Sea of Japan on Tuesday, prompting statements of condemnation from the U.S. and its allies.  

The Treasury Department said in a statement that the sanctions respond to at least six ballistic missile launches carried out by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) since September 2021.

“Today’s actions, part of the United States’ ongoing efforts to counter the DPRK’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs, target its continued use of overseas representatives to illegally procure goods for weapons,” Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement. 

“The DPRK’s latest missile launches are further evidence that it continues to advance prohibited programs despite the international community’s calls for diplomacy and denuclearization.” 

The sanctions target a Russian-based, North Korean national, Choe Myong Hyon, for “having provided, or having attempted to provide, goods or services in support of the Second Academy of Natural Sciences (SANS),” which is under sanctions by the U.S. in 2010 for supporting North Korea’s missile program. 

The other four individuals are Chinese-based, North Korean nationals who are representatives of SANS-subordinate organizations, the Treasury Department said.  

The individuals, Sim Kwang Sok, Kim Song Hun, Kang Chol Hak and Pyon Kwang Chol, are sanctioned for procuring different materials related to missile production and for their association with SANS.  

Sanction implications include blocking any interest or property held in the U.S. and generally prohibit any American from carrying out dealings with blacklisted individuals, and also strongly discourage foreign persons and foreign financial institutions from engaging in dealings with those sanctioned. 

Any person engaging in dealings or transactions with sanctioned individuals run the risk of being targeted for U.S. sanctions. Any financial institution that knowingly facilitates or provides significant financial services for the blacklisted individuals is likely to be subject to U.S. sanctions.  

Tags China North Korea Russia

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