US North Korea sanctions target individuals, Russia, China and UAE-based firms

By Thomson Reuters Mar 27, 2024 | 2:56 PM

(Reuters) – The United States on Wednesday announced sanctions on six individuals and two entities based in Russia, China and the United Arab Emirates, accusing them of channeling funds to North Korea’s weapons programs.

A U.S. Treasury Department statement said the action was taken in coordination with South Korea.

It named the six individuals as Yu Pu Ung, Ri Tong Hyok, Han Chol Man, O In Chun, Jong Song Ho and Jon Yon Gun.

The entities to be hit with sanctions were Alis LLC, based in Vladivostok, Russia, and UAE-based Pioneer Bencont Star Real Estate.

The statement said both firms were subordinate to Chinyong Information Technology Cooperation Co, an entity associated with North Korea’s armed forces.

The Treasury Department said Chinyong, which was placed under U.S. sanctions in May 2023, uses a network of companies and representatives to manage delegations of North Korean IT workers operating in Russia and Laos.

The announcement came after the United States and South Korea this week launched a new task force aimed at preventing North Korea from procuring illicit oil, as a deadlock at the United Nations Security Council casts doubts over the future of international sanctions on Pyongyang.

Years of U.S.-led international sanctions have failed to halt North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs, and many North Korea watchers and sanctions experts consider the U.N. regime moribund, if not already dead.

(Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Ottawa; editing by Dan Whitcomb and Bill Berkrot)