US adds to North Korea sanctions list

WASHINGTON • The United States has added North Korea's Strategic Rocket Force to its sanctions list for ties to weapons development and illicit finance activities, the Treasury Department said.

The Treasury on Tuesday also listed officials of previously sanctioned North Korean banks for activities tied to the North's weapons proliferation activities, it said.

The additional sanctions are designed to stop the North from evading existing US and United Nations sanctions and prevent Pyongyang from accessing the US financial system, the Treasury Department said in a statement.

The extent of the entities' financial holdings in the US being targeted was not immediately clear.

The Treasury said the Strategic Rocket Force was responsible for a series of ballistic missile launches last year, including two Rodong- class missiles in March last year.

The North is under various UN Security Council sanctions for its missile and nuclear tests, which ban trade and financing that aid the country's weapons programmes and any tests that involve the use of ballistic missile technology.

Six individuals who are officials of the previously sanctioned Tanchon Commercial Bank and the Foreign Trade Bank were added to the sanctions list. Three shipping companies with ties to a previously sanctioned firm involved in arms shipments were also added.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 10, 2015, with the headline 'US adds to North Korea sanctions list'. Print Edition | Subscribe