Archive for the ‘Korea Ryongbong General Corp’ Category

White House forms DPRK sanctions team

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

According to the Washington Post:

The White House is ramping up its efforts to enforce sanctions against North Korea by forming a new interagency team to coordinate U.S. actions with other nations, senior administration officials said today.

The new team will be led by former ambassador to Bolivia Philip S. Goldberg, who is slated to leave for China in the near future as the U.S seeks concerted action to stop the North Korean regime from developing nuclear weapons.

“There is a broad consensus about the need to have a focused and engaged effort to see that these sanctions are implemented … and that we’re sharing information with each other,” one official said, speaking on background.

U.S. officials described the new group as a way to focus the administration more squarely on implementation of the latest sanctions, which were approved by the United Nations in the wake of North Korea’s nuclear test last month.

The officials said they are hoping the group — with representatives from the State Department, the White House, the National Security Agency, Treasury and others — will help “shine a spotlight” on the actions of the regime.

“We wanted somebody who woke up every morning and thought about nothing but sanctions implementation,” one official said. “It’s a huge difference when you have somebody who isn’t worried about any of the other aspects of this.”

The White House also announced a renewed effort to use the authority of the U.N. resolution to take financial actions against the North Korean regime in an effort to choke off the money flowing from small arms trade and other activity.

Treasury officials have issued a public memorandum to private financial institutions reminding them of the global condemnation and other risks of doing business with the North Korean regime.

The letter warns that North Korean banks and institutions often use deceptive techniques to engage in financial transactions that could place legitimate financial firms at risk.

“Financial institutions should apply enhanced scrutiny to any such correspondent accounts they maintain, including with respect to transaction monitoring,” the letter states.

One senior official said the U.S. is confident that the financial sanctions will over time help to further isolate North Korea and pressure its leaders to abandon its nuclear program.

“It’s going to take time to have a bite,” he conceded. “But we’re trying to get out of the box quickly.”

The Bush administration also had a sustained effort to implement United Nations sanctions after North Korea first tested a nuclear weapon in 2006.

The Counterproliferation Directorate of the White House National Security Council coordinated the effort, while the State Department and Treasury also co-chaired an interagency effort to examine specific cases that eventually worked their way up the chain for approval.

A team of senior officials, led by the undersecretary of State for arms control, traveled to Asia to work closely with allies. But the effort was dropped after Bush shifted course and decided to pursue diplomacy with North Korea.

Their first stops: China then Malaysia.

New North Korea Sanctions Team Formed
Washington Post
Michael D. Shear and Glenn Kessler

U.S. North Korea sanctions team to visit Malaysia
Reuters UK


South Korea sanctions DPRK firms

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Earlier this year the UN Security Council issued a Presidential Statement in response to the DPRK’s April rocket (missile) test. In the Presidential Statement, three North Korean firms were blacklisted–Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation, Tanchon Commercial Bank, and Korea Ryongbong General Corporation–all of whom are suspected of having ties with the North’s missile and nuclear programs.

According to Yonhap, the South Korean government has also blacklisted these firms, though no South Korean firms have realtions with any of them:

This is the first time that South Korea has imposed financial sanctions on a North Korean company in relation to Pyongyang’s ballistic activity, the ministry said.

The ministry said that it will consider taking additional measures if the U.N. comes up with separate actions against the North for conducting its second nuclear test on May 25.

Read the full sotry here:
Seoul slaps sanctions on N. Korean firms for missile test
Koh Byung-joon


UNSC blacklists three DPRK companies

Friday, April 24th, 2009

In response to the DPRK’s rocket launch, the UN Security Council issued a presidential statement containing the following:

The Security Council reiterates that the DPRK must comply fully with its obligations under Security Council resolution 1718 (2006).

The Security Council demands that the DPRK not conduct any further launch.

The Security Council also calls upon all Member States to comply fully with their obligations under resolution 1718 (2006).

The Security Council agrees to adjust the measures imposed by paragraph 8 of resolution 1718 (2006) through the designation of entities and goods, and directs the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1718 (2006) to undertake its tasks to this effect and to report to the Security Council by 24 April 2009, and further agrees that, if the Committee has not acted, then the Security Council will complete action to adjust the measures by 30 April 2009.

(Read the full text of the statement here

Today the Security Council followed up this statement (and resolution 1718) by voting to blacklist three North Korean companies.  According to Reuters (via the Washington Post):

The North Korea sanctions committee met a Friday deadline set by the Security Council on April 13 to produce a list of goods and North Korean entities to be blacklisted under Security Council resolution 1718, passed after Pyongyang’s October 2006 nuclear test.

The three companies put on the list are Korea Mining Development Trading Corp., Korea Ryongbong General Corp. and Tranchon (Tanchon) Commercial Bank, according to a copy of the committee’s decision obtained by Reuters.

The decision said the three companies were linked to the military and active in procuring equipment and financing for North Korea’s ballistic missile and other weapons programs.

The blacklisting prohibits companies and nations around the world from doing business with the three firms, but the impact of the action might be largely symbolic.

One Western diplomat said the three blacklisted firms had subsidiaries that also would be subject to U.N. sanctions.

Committee members also decided to ban the import and export of items on an internationally recognized list of sensitive technologies used to build long-range missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.

The US imposed sanctions on three North Korean companies in the Federal Register earlier this year.  Of these three companies, one has made the UNSC list: the Korea Mining and Development Corporation.  I can only speculate as to the fate of the other two mentioned in the US Federal Register, Mokong Trading Corporation and the Sino-Ki company. 

Read more below:
UNSC Presidential Statement

U.N. committee puts 3 North Korea firms on blacklist
Reuters (via the Washington Post)
Louis Charbonneau