Joe Biden targets NKorea’s overseas weapons network with fresh sanctions

14-Jan-2022 Intellasia | The Telegraph | 2:31 PM Print This Post

US President Joe Biden imposed his administration’s first sanctions on North Korea’s overseas weapons network following a series of recent missile launches by the rogue state, including two in the last week, that Washington on Thursday called “profoundly destabilising”.

The Treasury Department said late on Wednesday that it was imposing penalties on five officials based in Russia and China for their role in obtaining equipment and technology for the North’s missile programs.

In addition, the State Department ordered sanctions against another North Korean, a Russian man and a Russian company for their broader support of the state’s weapons of mass destruction activities.

The sanctions came after North Korea said leader Kim Jong Un oversaw a successful flight test of a hypersonic missile on Tuesday that he claimed would greatly increase the country’s nuclear “war deterrent.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday that the United States had made clear it does not have hostile intent toward North Korea and is willing to engage in talks without preconditions but had had “no response”.

“The response we’ve seen… has been renewed missile tests, something that is profoundly destabilising, it’s dangerous and it contravenes a whole host of UN Security Council resolutions,” he said in an interview with MSNBC.

“I think some of this is North Korea trying to get attention,” he added. “It’s done that in the past. They’ll probably continue to do that.”

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said that the US is also proposing UN sanctions in response to North Korea’s six ballistic missile launches since September.

The State Department has designated Russia-based North Korean Choe Myong Hyon, Russian national Roman Anatolyevich Alar and the Russian firm Parsek LLC for “activities or transactions that have materially contributed to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or their means of delivery.”

Four China-based North Korean representatives of SANS-subordinate organizations – Sim Kwang Sok, Kim Song Hun, Kang Chol Hak and Pyon Kwang Chol – and one other Russia-based North Korean, O Yong Ho, were also targeted.

US Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said the moves targeted North Korea’s “continued use of overseas representatives to illegally procure goods for weapons.”

In a statement, Mr Blinken said that between at least 2016 and 2021, goods with ballistic missile applications procured included Kevlar thread, aramid fibre, aviation oil, ball bearings, and precision milling machines.

Instructions were also shared for creating solid rocket fuel mixtures.

“The procurement and supply relationship between O Yong Ho, Roman Anatolyevich Alar, and Parsek LLC is a key source of missile-applicable goods and technology for the DPRK’s missile program,” his statement said.


Category: Korea

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