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Sanctioning North Korea Officials


Jan 8, 2018

The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, has sanctioned two individuals in response to North Korea's ongoing development of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, in continued violation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

The sanctions, announced on December 26th, target key leaders of North Korea's unlawful weapons programs as highlighted in the recently adopted UN Security Resolution 2397. As a result of these actions, any property or interests in property of those designated by OFAC within U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and transactions by U.S. persons involving the designated persons are generally prohibited.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reacts with Ri Pyong Chol (L) in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 15, 2017.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reacts with Ri Pyong Chol (L) in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 15, 2017.

OFAC sanctioned two individuals pursuant to Executive Order 13687, which targets, among others, officials of the Government of North Korea and the Workers' Party of Korea, known as the WPK.

OFAC sanctioned two senior officials of the UN- and U.S.-designated WPK Munitions Industry Department, Kim Jong Sik and Ri Pyong Chol, who were listed in UNSCR 2397.

The Munitions Industry Department is responsible for overseeing North Korea's ballistic missile programs and was sanctioned by the U.S. Department of State in 2010 pursuant to Executive Order 13382. Kim Jong Sik reportedly is a key figure in North Korea's ballistic missile development, in particular efforts to switch from liquid to solid fueled systems, and Ri Pyong Chol is reported to be a key official involved in North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile development.

“Treasury is targeting leaders of North Korea's ballistic missile programs, as part of our maximum pressure campaign to isolate the DPRK and achieve a fully denuclearized Korean Peninsula,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “These actions follow... United Nations Security Council Resolution [2397], which imposed strong new sanctions on North Korea, further shutting down its ability to raise illicit funds.”

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