US Strikes at Multiple Sanctions Targets

The United States government has placed a number of additional North Korean institutions and individuals on its sanctions register. The U.S. has its own list of sanctioned entities and individuals, which is separate from the UN sanctions most recently enhanced by the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2094.

According to a statement released by the Department of the Treasury yesterday, “The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated the Foreign Trade Bank, North Korea’s primary foreign exchange bank, pursuant to Executive Order (EO) 13382, which targets proliferators of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their supporters.”

It went on, “Treasury is also designating Paek Se Bong, the chairman of North Korea’s Second Economic Committee, under EO 13382.”

The U.S. accuses the Foreign Trade Bank of providing support to other financial entities that are already under sanction for aiding and abetting North Korea’s efforts to develop missiles and nuclear weapons, notably Korea Kwangson Banking Corporation, which was sanctioned under EO 13382 in 2009.

Explaining the decision to cite Paek Se Bong, the statement said that the Second Economic Committee (aka Second Economic Commission) “oversees the production of North Korea’s ballistic missiles and directs the activities of KOMID.” Paek Se Bong, it went on, “is also an alternate member of the Central Committee of [the Chosun] Workers’ Party and a member North Korea’s National Defense Commission.”

Meanwhile, the Department of State has also added three key figures to the sanctions list: Pak Do Chun, “the head of U.S.- and European Union-designated Munitions Industry Department, which manages North Korea’s weapons production and arms exports”; Ju Kyu Chang, “a [Chosun Workers’ Party Politburo] (alternate) member and directs the Munitions Industry Department”; and Oh Keuk Ryul, “a Vice Chairman of the North Korean National Defense Commission” who “previously headed the [Chosun Workers’ Party] Operations Department, where he ordered the establishment of a nuclear research and development organization directly under his control.”

On the same day, White House aide Tom Donilon claimed in a keynote speech that the U.S. is not prepared to stand idly and watch North Korean nuclear and missile developments.

Donilon told an Asia Society conference in New York, “The United States will not accept North Korea as a nuclear state; nor will we stand by while it seeks to develop a nuclear-armed missile that can target the United States.”

He emphasized, “We have made clear our openness to authentic negotiations with North Korea. In return, however, we’ve only seen provocations and extreme rhetoric. To get the assistance it desperately needs and the respect it claims it wants, North Korea will have to change course.”