The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned two North Korean nationals and three companies for illicitly raising money abroad on behalf of their country’s government.
The entities, including Chilsong Trading Corp and Korea Paekho Trading Corp, contravened US sanctions policy meant to block funding for North Korea’s development of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.
“The United States remains committed to targeting the regime’s global illicit networks that generate revenue for these destabilizing activities,” US Undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement on the department’s Web site on Wednesday.
Concerns that North Korea uses construction and statue-building companies to help fund its weapons programs has led the UN, the US and the EU to target the practice.
Chilsong is used by North Korea to “earn foreign currency, collect intelligence and provide cover status for intelligence operatives,” the Office of Foreign Assets Control said.
Paekho has raised money for the North Korean government since the 1980s “by conducting art and construction projects on behalf of regimes throughout the Middle East and Africa,” it said.
The treasury also sanctioned an alleged front company of Paekho called Congo Aconde Sarl, and its founders Hwang Kil-su and Pak Hwa-song.
The two men used the company to raise money through construction and statue-building projects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Bloomberg previously reported that Congo Aconde transferred US dollars through a Congolese unit of Afriland First Group SA bank.
The EU sanctioned Chilsong, Paekho, Pak and Hwang last year for sanctions evasion and supporting North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic-missile programs.
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