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US sanctions Russian firm over North Korea missiles

The US Treasury Department has imposed sanctions against six North Koreans as well as one Russian national and a Russian company, accusing them of “proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”

Washington announced the blacklist on Wednesday, calling it part of “ongoing efforts to counter the DPRK’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs.”

The sanctions target North Korea’s continued use of overseas representatives to illegally procure goods for weapons,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson.

A DPRK national based in Vladivostok, Russia, Choe Myong Hon is accused of providing Russian “telecommunications-related equipment” to the Second Academy of Natural Sciences (SANS), sanctioned by the US in 2010. 

Four North Koreans based in China have also been sanctioned for allegedly procuring steel alloys, software, chemicals, and other merchandise in service of Pyongyang’s missile program: Sim Kwang Sok and Pyon Kwang Chol in Dalian, as well as Kim Song Hun and Kang Chol Hak in Shenyang.

Moscow-based O Yong Ho was sanctioned alongside Russian national Roman Anatolyevich Alar and the Moscow company Parsek LLC, for alleged “activities or transactions that have materially contributed to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or their means of delivery by DPRK.”

The US Treasury said its actions follow North Korea’s six ballistic missile launches since September 2021, each in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. The most recent launch took place on Tuesday, with Pyongyang claiming to have successfully fired a hypersonic missile.

Under the sanctions, any property held by the designated individuals in the US is subject to seizure. Anyone in the world who engages in certain transactions with the designated individuals or entities may also be subject to US sanctions, Treasury noted.

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