US increases sactions on North Korea

According to Yonhap:

The United States slapped sanctions Tuesday on North Korea’s “strategic rocket force” and others for weapons proliferation amid growing concern about the communist nation’s ballistic missile capabilities.

The rocket force, which is charged with overseeing the North’s ballistic missile program, was accused of “engaging in activities that have materially contributed to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or their means of delivery.”

“The Strategic Force conducted multiple ballistic missile launches during 2014. Specifically, it conducted the launches of two short-range Scud-class ballistic missiles on March 3, test-fired two medium-range No Dong-class ballistic missiles on March 26, and conducted the launch of a short-range ballistic missile on July 26,” the Treasury Department said in a statement on its website.

“The launches of these missiles materially contributed to North Korea’s ballistic missile program,” it said.

Technically, it is the State Department that blacklisted the rocket force, though the announcement was included in the Treasury Department release.

Also sanctioned were six individuals and three shipping firms.

The individuals were Choe Song-il and Kim Jung-jong, Tanchon Commercial Bank officials based in Vietnam; Jang Bom-su and Jon Myong-guk, Tanchon Commercial Bank officials in Syria; Ko Tae-hun, a Tanchon Commercial Bank representative; and Kim Kyong-nam, an official of the North’s Foreign Trade Bank in Russia.

The three firms were Haejin, Pyongjin and Yongjin ship management firms.

“North Korea threatens international peace and security by expanding its nuclear program and continuing its proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and conventional weapons,” said Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Adam J. Szubin in the statement.

“Treasury is committed to exposing North Korea’s global proliferation network and excluding these facilitators from the international financial system,” he said.

Under the sanctions, any property or interest in property of the designated persons in the possession of U.S. persons or within U.S. jurisdiction must be frozen and transactions by U.S. persons involving the designated persons are generally prohibited, it said.

But the measures are seen only as symbolic as those sanctioned are not believed to be holding any assets in the U.S. or engaged in any dealings with U.S. persons.

Read the full story here:
U.S. sanctions N. Korea’s strategic rocket force


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