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US imposes sanctions on two individuals, one entity for funding N. Korea's illegal weapons program

By Yonhap

Published : Sept. 1, 2023 - 09:22

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North Korea launches Chollima-1 rocket for the second time, Aug 24. (Yonhap) North Korea launches Chollima-1 rocket for the second time, Aug 24. (Yonhap)

The US Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions Thursday on two individuals including a North Korean national and one entity in Russia for helping to finance North Korea's illegal weapons development program.

The move comes in response to North Korea's failed attempt to launch a reconnaissance satellite last week, according to the office.

"In coordination with the Republic of Korea and Japan, the United States sanctioned two individuals and one entity -- Jon Jin Yong, Sergey Mikhaylovich Kozlov, and Intellekt LLC -- involved in generating revenue for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's unlawful development of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles," it said in a press release, referring to South and North Korea by their official names.

"Today's action by the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control is being taken in response to the DPRK's August 23 attempted launch of a reconnaissance satellite into orbit, marking its second failed attempt to do so in three months," it added.

North Korea's first failed attempt to launch a satellite took place in late May. The US has condemned both launches, stressing that space rockets use ballistic missile technology the North is prohibited from using or developing under multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions.

"In furtherance of the administration's commitment to coordinate our responses to regional challenges, today's action -- along with the actions of our allies and partners -- targets the facilitation networks that enable the DPRK's ballistic missile and WMD programs, in violation of UN Security Council resolutions," Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson was quoted as saying.

"The United States will continue to coordinate closely with the Republic of Korea and Japan in our collective effort to combat the DPRK's unlawful and destructive activities," he added, according to the treasury department.

Jon, currently based in Russia, worked with Kozlov to coordinate the use of North Korean construction workers in Russia, a key source of hard currency for the North, according to the treasury department.

Jon also led a team of North Korean information technology workers in Russia to generate revenue while using identity documents of family members or Russian employees of Kozlov to disguise the North Korean workers' identity. (Yonhap)