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U.S. Sanctions WMD Proliferation Facilitators

North Korea's Unha-3 rocket lifts off from the Sohae launch pad in Tongchang-ri, North Korea. (file)

United States welcomes U.N. Security Council Resolution 2087, which sanctions a number of North Korean companies and government agencies.

The United States, along with the global community of nations, decried last December’s launching by North Korea of the Taepo-Dong 2 missile. The technology used to launch the satellite could easily be utilized in an intercontinental ballistic missile. Thus, the United States welcomes United Nations Security Council Resolution 2087, which condemns the launch and sanctions a number of North Korean companies and government agencies, including North Korea’s space agency, which was responsible for the launch.

U.S. Sanctions WMD Proliferation Facilitators
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In support of this Resolution, the United States Department of the Treasury has issued on January 24th, its own designation, sanctioning several actors known to have facilitated the North Korean Weapons Of Mass Destruction Program.

"Our actions . . . . target two North Korean entities, Tanchon Commercial Bank and KOMID, that are part of the web of banks, front companies and government agencies that support North Korea's continued proliferation activities," said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen.

The United States designated Leader International Trading Limited, a Hong Kong company which is linked to Pyongyang’s weapons program. Leader International Trading works on behalf of North Korea’s chief arms dealer and main exporter of materials related to ballistic missiles and conventional weapons, the Korea's Mining Development Trading Corporation, or KOMID.

Also sanctioned were Ra Ky'ong-Su and Kim Kwang-Il, the Beijing representative and deputy representative respectively, of Tanchon Commercial Bank. North Korea-based Tanchon Commercial Bank serves as KOMID’s financial arm, facilitating KOMID's sales of ballistic missiles.

These designations support the United States' longstanding objective of impeding North Korea's ability to fund its nuclear and ballistic missile activities. No U.S. citizen or company may conduct business with a designated entity or individual.

"By continuing to expose these entities, and the individuals who assist them,” said Under Secretary Cohen, “we degrade North Korea's ability to use the international financial system for its illicit purposes."

North Korea will continue to face isolation if it refuses to take concrete steps to address the concerns of the international community over its nuclear and missile programs.