U.S. expands sanctions on N. Korea

2013-06-28 02:51:36 GMT2013-06-28 10:51:36(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

The U.S. government on Thursday blacklisted two North Korean entities and two individuals accused of playing a role in the North's development of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), apparently a show of Washington's resolve to keep pressure on Pyongyang in spite of its recent peace overtures.

The Treasury Department described the step as part of its "ongoing efforts to disrupt North Korean financial networks" supporting the North's illicit ballistic missile and WMD programs.

The newly designated entities are Daedong Credit Bank (DCB), based in Pyongyang, and its front company, DCB Finance Ltd, which is registered in the British Virgin Islands.

The individuals are DCB Finance representative Kim Chol-sam and Son Mun-san, the external affairs bureau chief of North Korea's General Bureau of Atomic Energy, which oversees the country's nuclear weapons programs.

"Although the recent spate of provocations has waned, North Korea's destabilizing illicit nuclear and ballistic missile program continues apace, supported by North Korean financial institutions like Daedong Credit Bank," David Cohen, under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a press release. "We are committed to increasing the sanctions pressure on North Korea until it complies with its international obligations.”

The designated firms would face a freeze on assets under U.S. jurisdiction and are barred from doing business with U.S. companies.

The Treasury's move is in line with U.N. Security Council resolutions on North Korea for its long-range rocket launches and nuclear tests.

The State Department said it will keep pressing Pyongyang to change its course.

"We said that the pressure will continue on North Korea, and we want them to change their behavior," Patrick Ventrell, the department's deputy spokesman, said at a press briefing. 

(Agencies)

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