The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) updated and expanded sanctions against North Korean entities and individuals on Wednesday, in conjunction with the passing of a new UN Security Council resolution on the DPRK.
The purpose of the sanctions, according to the press release, is to “complement and help implement United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2270, and hold the Government of North Korea responsible for its continued illicit pursuit of nuclear and missile programs.”
North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test on January 6, which Pyongyang’s state media reported as a successful test of a hydrogen bomb. This was followed a month later, on February 7, by the launch of the Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite into orbit on the Kwangmyongsong space launch vehicle, an act condemned by the United Nations as a disguised test of ballistic missile technology.
The new designations were pursuant to Executive Orders 13382 and 13687 and included designations from the U.S. Department of State as well.
Entities sanctioned now include the DPRK National Defense Commission, the highest decision-making body in the country, the Workers’ Party of Korea Central Military Commission, the highest authority on military policy, the National Aerospace Development Administration, responsible for operations of North Korea’s satellites and space rockets, the Academy of Natural Sciences, which assists in research relevant to arms development, and the Ministry of Atomic Energy Industry.
Among the individuals newly targeted by the sanctions are Hwang Pyong So, vice chairman of the National Defense Commission and director of the Korean People’s Army General Political Bureau. Hwang is one of the top officials in Pyongyang and the chief political officer in the military, believed to have a significant influence over military policy.
Also sanctioned are Pak Yong Sik, minister of the People’s Armed Forces, the administrative arm of military management, Choe Chun Sik, director of the Second Academy of Natural Sciences and a KPA lieutenant general, and Ri Yong Mu, another vice chairman of the National Defense Commission.
In addition to military and arms industry-affiliated officials, the list includes one diplomat, Pak Chun Il, the DPRK ambassador to Egypt. Pak also serves, from Cairo, as Pyongyang’s ambassador to Palestine, Oman, and Yemen. North Korea has a history of cooperating military with either the governments of or groups within at least three of these four countries. DPRK-Egypt military cooperation has been especially significant. Following North Korea’s assistance to Egypt in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Egypt provided North Korea with its first Scud missiles the late 1970s.
The people and entities target by the sanctions show the that United States is more broadly trying to inhibit North Korea’s ability to manage its weapons development programs, conduct research, and acquire technology and materials.
Featured image: U.S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control, Wikimedia Commons
Join the influential community of members who rely on NK News original news and in-depth reporting.
Subscribe to read the remaining 467 words of this article.