Targets Include Officials and Companies from the Transportation, Mining, Energy, and Financial Services Industries
WASHINGTON – Today, in response to North Korea’s September 2016 nuclear test, ongoing prohibited development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and continued violations of United Nations Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs), the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated 16 entities and seven individuals for their ties to the Government of North Korea or its nuclear and weapons proliferation efforts and identified 16 aircraft blocked as property of a designated entity. As a result of today’s action, any property or interests in property of the designated persons in the possession or control of U.S. persons or within the United States must be blocked. Additionally, U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving the designated persons and listed aircraft.
“These sanctions aim to cut the flow of financial resources to North Korea and further counter the regime’s destabilizing and provocative behavior,” said Adam J. Szubin, Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. “From financial services to mining and energy, today’s action targets individuals and entities operating in key industries that support North Korea’s illicit activities. Treasury will continue to use all of its financial tools to intensify the pressure on North Korea and those supporting the regime’s nuclear ambitions and WMD programs.”
The designations were made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13382, which targets WMD proliferators and their supporters; E.O. 13687, which targets the Government of North Korea, the Workers’ Party of Korea, and their supporters; and E.O. 13722, which targets, in part, North Korea’s trade in metals, graphite, coal, and software; revenue from overseas workers; and North Korea’s transportation, mining, energy, and financial services industries.
E.O. 13382 Designations
OFAC designated Korea Kumsan Trading Corporation for being owned or controlled by, or acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the General Bureau of Atomic Energy (GBAE) and Kim Chol Nam for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Korea Kumsan Trading Corporation and/or GBAE. Kim Chol Nam serves as the President of Korea Kumsan Trading Corporation, a company that procures supplies for GBAE and serves as a cash route to Pyongyang. GBAE, which was previously designated by the U.S. and the UN, is responsible for North Korea’s nuclear program, which includes the Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center and its five megawatt plutonium production research reactor, as well as its fuel fabrication and reprocessing facilities.
OFAC designated Kim Se Gon for acting for or on behalf of the Ministry of Atomic Energy Industry (MAEI), which oversees North Korea’s nuclear program. MAEI was previously designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 by the U.S. Department of State.
OFAC designated Pak Han Se for acting for or on behalf of the Second Economic Committee. Pak Han Se is the Vice Chairman of the Second Economic Committee, and he works with the Korea Mining Development Corporation (KOMID). North Korea’s Second Economic Committee was previously designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 and oversees the production of North Korea’s ballistic missiles and directs the activities of KOMID. KOMID, which was previously designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 and E.O. 13687, as well as by the UN pursuant to UNSCR 1718, is North Korea's premier arms dealer and main exporter of goods and equipment related to ballistic missiles and conventional weapons.
E.O. 13687 Designations
OFAC designated Chang Ch’ang-ha, Chang Kyo’ng-hwa, and Cho Chun Ryong for being officials of the Workers’ Party of Korea. Chang Ch’ang-ha is the President of the Second Academy of Natural Sciences (SANS), Chang Kyo’ng-hwa is an official of SANS, and Cho Chun Ryong is the Chairman of the Second Economic Committee (SEC). In August 2010, the Department of State designated SANS and SEC pursuant to E.O. 13382 for their support to North Korea’s WMD program.
OFAC designated the Korea Haegumgang Trading Corporation for being owned or controlled by, or having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the Government of North Korea. Korea Haegumgang Trading Corporation reportedly has conducted business on behalf of the Government of North Korea in Syria, Russia, China, Mozambique, and Tanzania.
OFAC designated Mavungal Hussain for materially assisting KOMID. Mavungal Hussain works on behalf of KOMID.
E.O. 13722 Designations
OFAC designated Air Koryo for operating in the transportation industry in the North Korean economy and identified 16 aircraft in which it has an interest. Air Koryo is the national flag carrier for North Korea and reportedly continues to own and operate all civilian aircraft registered in North Korea. In July 2013, an Air Koryo aircraft undertook a fly-over in the Victory Day military parade. Air Koryo also reportedly transported from Pyongyang spare parts or items used in Scud-B missile systems, which the UN prohibits exporting to North Korea as arms and related materiel. North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, previously designated by OFAC pursuant to E.O. 13722 for having engaged in, facilitated, or been responsible for an abuse or violation of human rights, is also known to have access to a private jet decorated with the logo of Air Koryo.
Exportation of Workers
OFAC designated the Mansudae Overseas Project Group of Companies, Korea General Corporation for External Construction, Namgang Construction, and Korea Rungrado General Trading Corporation for having engaged in, facilitated, or been responsible for the exportation of workers from North Korea, including exportation to generate revenue for the Government of North Korea or the Workers’ Party of Korea. The Mansudae Overseas Project Group of Companies has been reported to conduct business in countries including Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Benin, Cambodia, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Malaysia, Mozambique, Madagascar, Namibia, Senegal, Syria, Togo, and Zimbabwe. Korea General Corporation for External Construction has worked to supply North Korean laborers in the Middle East for the purpose of earning hard currency for the North Korean regime. Namgang Construction has worked to supply North Korean laborers in the Middle East and Asia for the same purposes. The Korea Rungrado General Trading Corporation also works to supply North Korean laborers in Asia and Africa to earn foreign currency for the North Korean regime. Some of the revenue generated by overseas laborers is used by the Munitions Industry Department, which was designated by the Department of State in August 2010 pursuant to E.O. 13382 for its support to North Korea’s WMD program.
Coal and Energy
OFAC designated Daewon Industries and the Kangbong Trading Corporation for having sold, supplied, transferred, or purchased, directly or indirectly, to or from North Korea, metal, graphite, coal, or software, where revenue or goods received may benefit the Government of North Korea or the Workers’ Part of Korea. The Kangbong Trading Corporation’s parent is the Ministry of People’s Armed Forces. Daewon Industries also operates in the energy industry in the North Korean economy, and may be subordinate to the Munitions Industry Department, which is sanctioned in UNSCR 2270, designated by the U.S. pursuant to E.O. 13382, and responsible for overseeing the development of North Korea’s ballistic missiles, including the Taepo Dong-2.
OFAC designated the Korea Oil Exploration Corporation for operating in the energy industry in the North Korean economy. The Korea Oil Exploration Corporation is a state-controlled enterprise of the North Korea Ministry of Oil. The Korea Oil Exploration Corporation has reportedly worked to establish contracts with Iranian oil entities, in part to supply crude oil to two refineries in North Korea.
OFAC designated North East Asia Bank, Koryo Credit Development Bank, Rason International Commercial Bank, Kumgang Bank, Koryo Bank, and Korean National Insurance Corporation for operating in the financial services industry in the North Korea economy.
The Korean National Insurance Corporation is reported to generate substantial foreign exchange revenue that is used to support the regime in North Korea. It has been linked to Office 39, a secretive branch of the government of North Korea that engages in illicit economic activities and generates revenues for North Korean leadership. Office 39 is listed in the Annex to E.O. 13551.
For identifying information on the individuals and entities designated and listed today, click here.