More on upcoming US sanctions

According to the AFP:

The United States is expected to blacklist three key North Korean figures suspected of handling secret funds for leader Kim Jong-Il as part of its new sanctions, a report said Wednesday.

Washington is devising the measures to punish the North for an alleged deadly March attack on a South Korean warship and to push it to abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions.

Yonhap news agency, quoting an unidentified South Korean government source, said one of the three officials is Kim Tong-Myong, head of the North’s Tanchon Commercial Bank.

“The US is paying special attention to three people, including Kim Tong-Myong, who operate North Korea’s secret funds abroad,” the source was quoted as saying.

“If they are included in the new sanctions, it could deal a blow to North Korea’s leadership.”

The foreign ministry had no comment on the report.

Washington also has evidence that nine North Korean financial institutions operating overseas and at least two trading firms have been used for illicit activities such as trading in conventional arms, luxury goods and counterfeit money, the source was quoted as saying.

Overall, the US is expected to add 10-20 North Korean entities and individuals to its blacklist, the report said.

Robert Einhorn, US State Department special adviser for non-proliferation and arms control, said Monday during a visit to Seoul the new measures would designate companies or individuals involved in the North’s illicit activities.

Any property or assets they possessed which were under US control could be blocked.

“By publicly naming these entities, these measures can have the broader effect of isolating them from the international financial and commercial system,” Einhorn said.

He named Tanchon Bank as one of several North Korean companies active overseas. The bank has already been designated by the US and the UN Security Council for suspected illicit activities.

South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-Hwan said details of the new US sanctions will emerge soon.

“We’re expecting concrete measures within the next two weeks that will freeze assets of related North Korean individuals or companies and will prohibit third countries from dealing with such individuals or companies,” Yu told a local radio station.

South Korea, the United States and other countries, citing a multinational investigation, accuse the North of torpedoing a South Korean warship in March with the loss of 46 lives — a charge it denies.

Read the full story here:
US to target secret funds of N.Korea’s Kim
AFP
8/4/2010

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