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.
Philippine vlogger Rosanel Demasudlay holds a heart-shaped “virginity soap” bar in front of the camera and assures her hundreds of YouTube followers that it can be safely used to “tighten” their vaginas. The video is part of a barrage of bogus and harmful medical posts on social media platforms where Filipinos rank among the world’s heaviest users. Even before COVID-19 pandemic restrictions confined people to their homes and left them fearful of seeing a doctor, many in the Philippines sought remedies online because they were cheaper and easier to access. During the pandemic, the Agence France-Presse’s (AFP) Fact Check team saw an explosion
BACKING THE APPLICATION: Ankara’s move is expected to enable Helsinki to join the alliance, while the Turkish president is still opposed to backing Sweden’s application Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday ended months of diplomatically charged delays and asked the Turkish parliament to back Finland’s bid to join NATO. A simultaneous decision by fellow holdout Hungary to schedule a Finnish ratification vote for March 27 means the US-led defense alliance would likely grow to 31 nations within a few months. NATO’s expansion into a country with a 1,340km border with Russia would double the length of the bloc’s frontier with its Cold War-era foe. Finland had initially aimed to join together with fellow NATO aspirant Sweden, which is facing a litany of disputes with Turkey that
The US and the Philippines plan to announce new sites as soon as possible for an expanded Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), which gives the Western power access to military bases in the Southeast Asian country. Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr last month granted the US access to four military bases, on top of five existing locations under the 2014 EDCA, amid China’s increasing assertiveness regarding the South China Sea and Taiwan. Speaking at the Basa Air Base in Manila, one of the existing EDCA sites, US Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall said the defense agreements between the two countries
Former US president Donald Trump said he expects to be “arrested” tomorrow over an alleged hush-money payment to a porn star in 2016 and urged his supporters to protest as prosecutors gave signs of moving closer to an indictment. If indicted, he would be the first former US president to be charged with a crime, marking an explosive and unpredictable development in next year’s White House race as Trump seeks again to clinch the Republican nomination. “Leading Republican candidate & former President of the United States of America will be arrested on Tuesday of next week,” the 76-year-old said on Saturday on