MADRID, Dec. 2 (.) –
The governments of the United States, Japan and South Korea have tightened their sanctions against North Korean officials and entities after Pyongyang intensified its missile launches in the region in recent weeks.
The US State Department has announced in a statement that it is “taking action” as part of its effort to prevent North Korea from making progress on its “illegal” ballistic missile and weapons of mass destruction programs.
According to Washington, the “unprecedented” launch of more than 60 ballistic missiles so far this year, including the testing of a multitude of intercontinental missiles, pose serious risks to the security of the region and the entire world.
For this reason, the Treasury Department has decided to sanction the president of the Defense Research Academy and member of the Committee of the Workers’ Party (PTC), Jon Il Ho; the chief secretary of the WPK Provincial Committee in Kangwon Province, Kim Su Gil; as well as another member of the WPK Central Committee, Yu Jin.
These sanctions mean that all property and interests in property of the named persons that are in the United States, or in the possession or control of US persons, are blocked and must be reported to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). In addition, any entity that is 50 percent or more owned, directly or indirectly, by one or more blocked persons is also blocked.
In addition, individuals who engage in certain transactions with designated individuals or entities may be exposed to penalties. In addition, any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant transaction or provides significant financial services to any of the designated individuals or entities could also be subject to sanctions, the State Department has detailed.
SEOUL AND TOKYO SINGLE OTHER INDIVIDUALS AND INSTITUTIONS
Meanwhile, South Korea has also announced a new sanctions package against eight people and seven institutions involved in the secret regime’s nuclear and missile development programs, the South Korean Foreign Ministry has detailed.
Additions to Seoul’s blacklist include officials from financial institutions linked to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, and those involved in illegal ship-to-ship transfers of sanctioned North Korean goods, Yonhap has reported.
These sanctions include six North Korean individuals from the North Korean Foreign Trade Bank, the Daesong Bank of Korea, and the Kumgang Group Bank. The others are a Singaporean and a Taiwanese, Kwak Kee Seng and Chen Shih Huan, respectively.
As for the institutions, four are North Korean trading and shipping companies, including Namgang Trading Corp., and three are Singapore-based shipping companies.
Japan, by contrast, has decided to freeze the assets of two commercial companies and a hacking group, as well as a private individual, for their involvement in North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons development programs.
The individual, Kim Su Il, represents the Vietnamese branch of North Korea’s Munitions Industry Department, which is a designated entity involved in overseeing the nation’s weapons programs, Japanese diplomacy has detailed in statements collected by the Kyodo agency.
Tokyo has carried out these sanctions after considering that Pyongyang’s missile launches have been carried out this year “at an unprecedented rate” arguing that they are “serious and imminent threats” to Japan and the international community.