This time the US is targeting North Korea’s military financing

On Wednesday last week, the United States announced sanctions against six individuals and two entities based in Russia, China and the United Arab Emirates for funneling funds to North Korea’s weapons programs.

The US Treasury Department and the South Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement that this step was taken in coordination between the two countries.

According to Reuters, the names of the six people are: Yu Pu Ung, Ri Tong Hyok, Han Chol Man, O In Chun, Jong Song Ho and Jon Yon Gun.

The entities to be sanctioned are Alis LLC, based in Vladivostok, Russia, and Pioneer Bencont Star Real Estate, based in the UAE.

It was announced that both companies are affiliated with Chinyong Information Technology Cooperation Co, an organization associated with the North Korean armed forces.

South Korea’s Foreign Ministry says the sanctions target not only those directly involved, but also those who aid North Korea’s illicit financial activities, especially those who earn foreign currency abroad in the information technology sector.

Yu Pu Ung, who laundered money and supplied sensitive materials used to develop North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, was responsible for managing the funds, the ministry said in a statement.

Sanctions can’t stop North Korea’s nuclear program

Chinyong, who was placed under US sanctions in May 2023, used a network of companies and agents to manage delegations of North Korean IT employees operating in Russia and Laos, the Treasury Department said.

Years of US-led international sanctions have failed to halt North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs. According to many North Korea watchers and sanctions experts, the framework of the UN regime is moribund, if not already dead. They are unlikely to stop North Korea in this regard.

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