President Barack Obama has authorized the imposition of additional sanctions against the government of North Korea and the Workers' Party of Korea. These sanctions are in response to the North Korean government's numerous provocations, particularly the recent cyber-attack targeting Sony Pictures Entertainment and the threats against movie theaters and to harm moviegoers, its threats aimed at international peace and security, its violation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions, and commission of human rights abuses.
This step reflects the ongoing commitment of the United States to hold North Korea accountable for its destabilizing, destructive and repressive actions, particularly its efforts to undermine U.S. cyber-security and intimidate U.S. businesses and artists exercising their right of freedom of expression.
Under the authority of this new Executive Order, the U.S. Treasury Department has designated three entities as being controlled by the North Korean government. They include the Reconnaissance General Bureau, or RGB, which is North Korea's primary intelligence organization and is involved in a range of activities proscribed by the United Nations Security Council Resolutions. Many of North Korea's major cyber operations run through RGB.
Korean Mining Development Trading Corporation, or KOMID, is also subject to sanctions. KOMID is North Korea's primary arms dealer and main exporter of goods and equipment related to ballistic missiles and conventional weapons.
The third entity is Korea Tangun Trading Corporation, which is part of the Second Academy of Natural Sciences and is primarily responsible for the procurement of commodities and technologies to support North Korea's defense research and development programs.
In addition, the Treasury Department has designated 10 individuals under the Executive Order for their status as officials of the North Korean government.
These sanctions, said U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, underscore that the United States "will employ a broad set of tools to defend U.S. businesses and citizens, and to respond to attempts to undermine [American] values or threaten the national security of the United States."