January 28, 2013
The United States has designated a Hong Kong–based company, two North Korean bank officials, North Korea’s space agency and several space officials in response to U.N. Security Council Resolution 2087, which was unanimously adopted on January 22 in the wake of Pyongyang’s launch — in direct violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874 — of a rocket using ballistic missile technology on December 12.
These sanctions target North Korea’s efforts to fund its nuclear and ballistic missile activities and enable the United States to implement Resolution 2087 domestically.
The sanctions generally prohibit transactions between the designees and any U.S. citizen or entity and freeze any assets that the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction.
According to a January 24 statement from the U.S. Treasury Department, Leader (Hong Kong) International Trading Limited was designated for facilitating the shipment of machinery and equipment to customers on behalf of Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (KOMID) and to KOMID representatives outside North Korea.
In April 2009, the United Nations designated KOMID North Korea’s premier arms dealer and its main exporter of goods and equipment related to ballistic missiles and conventional weapons. The Treasury Department statement said that KOMID aims to facilitate weapons sales, has offices in multiple countries around the world and also operates under the alias Korea Kumryong Trading Corporation.
The Treasury Department also announced designations January 24 of Ra Ky’ong-Su and Kim Kwang-Il, who are the Tanchon Commercial Bank’s representative and deputy representative, respectively, in Beijing, because of their actions to facilitate activity on behalf of TCB.
TCB was also designated by the United Nations in April 2009. The bank “plays a role in financing KOMID’s sales of ballistic missiles and has also been involved in ballistic missile transactions from KOMID to Iran’s Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG), the U.S. and U.N.-designated Iranian organization responsible for developing liquid-fueled ballistic missiles,” according to the statement.
Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen said TCB and KOMID are “part of the web of banks, front companies and government agencies that support North Korea’s continued proliferation activities,” and the Treasury Department’s actions to expose those entities and those who assist them “degrade North Korea’s ability to use the international financial system for its illicit purposes.”
Separately on January 24, the State Department designated the Korean Committee for Space Technology, which orchestrated the December 12 launch. It also designated Paek Chang-Ho and Chang Myong-Chin, two North Korean officials involved with the satellite launch.
In remarks to reporters in South Korea January 24, U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies said the passage of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2087, which was adopted after North Korea’s December 12 launch, imposes strong sanctions on North Korea, and he urged all U.N. member states to “do their part” to implement its provisions.
The tightened sanctions against North Korea “will help to impede the growth of weapons of mass destruction programs in North Korea and reduce the threat of proliferation by targeting entities and individuals directly involved in these programs,” Davies said.
The ambassador said it is important that the resolution was passed “by unanimous consent of 16 nations from all corners of the world” and followed condemnation of the North Korean missile launch by at least 60 countries and international organizations.
“This broad and growing consensus sends a unified message to Pyongyang. And the message is: ‘Live up to your obligations. Keep your promises. Start down the path of denuclearization. Keep the commitment you made in 2005 in the Joint Statement of that year. Or you will only further isolate your nation and impoverish your people,’” Davies said.
Under the 2005 Joint Statement — concluded by North Korea and its partners in the Six-Party process, which include China, Russia, the United States, South Korea, Japan and Russia — Pyongyang agreed to take verifiable steps to end its nuclear programs.
Davies said the United States remains open to “authentic and credible negotiations” with North Korea aimed at implementing the statement.
“We are willing to extend our hand if Pyongyang chooses the path of peace and progress by letting go of its nuclear weapons and its multistage missiles. If North Korea comes into compliance with Security Council resolutions and takes irreversible steps leading to denuclearization, the United States … [and] our other partners in the Six-Party process will do the hard work with the DPRK of finding a peaceful way forward,” Davies said.