US sanctions Taiwanese company over N Korea role

By William Lowther  /  Staff reporter in WASHINGTON

Sun, May 12, 2013 - Page 3

The US Department of the Treasury has slapped sanctions on Taiwanese company Trans Multi Mechanics Co Ltd and its general manager Chang Wen-fu for aiding North Korea’s weapons program.

They are alleged to have illegally shipped hundreds of thousands of US dollars worth of equipment to Pyongyang that could be used to make weapons.

Last week, two other Taiwanese, Alex Tsai Hsien-tai (蔡顯泰) and his son Gary Tsai Yueh-hsun (蔡岳勛), 36, were charged with trying to ship machinery to North Korea that could be used to make rockets.

The two cases are connected.

In a statement, the US Treasury said that Chang, 48, had been involved in the procurement of dual-use machinery for Pyongang.

“Alex Tsai has used Trans Multi Mechanics Co Ltd to procure and ship hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment to North Korea and to negotiate contracts on behalf of North Korean parties,” the Treasury statement said.

“It is essential that we continue to make it as difficult as possible for North Korea to facilitate its nuclear and ballistic missile programs by exposing key cogs in North Korea’s procurement network,” it added.

Alex Tsai was arrested in Estonia and the US is fighting to have him extradited.

His son was arrested in Chicago, where he lives, and has been released from custody on bail.

The sanctions ban all US citizens and US companies from doing business with Trans Multi Mechanics Co Ltd or with Chang and freezes the US assets of the company.