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U.S. designates firm, 2 officials on WMD

Jan. 24, 2013 at 5:44 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- U.S. assets of two North Korean bankers and a Hong Kong firm have been frozen under an executive order targeting weapons of mass destruction, officials said.

The Department of the Treasury said Thursday it has designated Tanchon Commercial Bank officials Ra Ky'ong-Su and Kim Kwang-Il "for facilitating activity on behalf of" TCB, which was designated under Executive Order 13382 in October 2009 "because it acts as the financial arm of Korea's Mining Development Trading Corp. (KOMID), Pyongyang's premier arms dealer and main exporter of goods and equipment related to ballistic missiles and conventional weapons."

Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen said TCB and KOMID "are part of the web of banks, front companies and government agencies that support North Korea's continued proliferation activities."

The announcement noted that KOMID was cited in June 2005 "for its role in North Korea's proliferation of WMD," weapons of mass destruction.

In addition to the two TCB officials, the Treasury Department designated Leader (Hong Kong) International Trading Limited.

"These designations, along with several designations announced today by the Department of State, are part of the United States' implementation of the new United Nations Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 2087, which condemned North Korea's launch of December 12, 2012, using ballistic missile technology, in direct violation of UNSCRs 1718 and 1874," the announcement said.

Thursday's action prohibits most transactions between the designees and any U.S. person, the Treasury Department said.

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