Anchor: The United States has unveiled new sanctions against North Korea, targeting two IT companies in China and Russia and a North Korean individual. The latest sanctions centered on blocking the North from sending IT personnel abroad.
Our Lee Bo-kyung has more.
Report: The U.S. Treasury Department announced Thursday that it blacklisted Russia-based Volasys Silver Star, China-based China Silver Star and its CEO Jong Song-hwa for violating U.S. sanctions.
The department said that the two companies are actually North Korean-controlled entities and that the North “sells a range of IT services and products abroad, including Web site and app development, security software, and biometric identification software that have military and law enforcement applications.”
It then warned the IT industry, businesses, and individuals across the globe to take precautions to ensure that they are not unwittingly employing North Korean workers for technology projects by doing business with companies such as the two designated firms.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the sanctions were intended to stop the flow of illicit revenue to North Korea from overseas IT workers hiding behind front companies and aliases.
The move comes a week after U.S. federal prosecutors charged a North Korean computer programmer over major cyber crimes including the 2014 cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Also on Thursday, Assistant Secretary of Treasury Marshall Billingslea said during a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the North continues to evade UN sanctions through illegal transactions at sea.
[Sound bite: Marshall Billingslea, Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing in the US Department of the Treasury]
“We are very focused on deceptive shipping practices, in particular, and ship-to-ship transfers of oil and coal to get around the UNSC embargoes on those products.”
The latest sanctions, which came amid efforts to arrange a second U.S.-North Korea summit, apparently demonstrate Washington’s intent to continue to apply sanctions on Pyongyang until the reclusive state takes actual steps for denuclearization.
Lee Bo-kyung, KBS World Radio News.
[Photo : YONHAP News]