The US government announced Friday a fresh batch of sanctions targeting a Russian bank for helping the North Korean regime develop its nuclear weapons program.
The latest action taken by the Treasury Department also targets one individual and two front companies for facilitating illicit North Korean financial activity.
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"The United States will continue to enforce UN and US sanctions and shut down illicit revenue streams to North Korea," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. "Our sanctions will remain in place until we have achieved the final, fully-verified denuclearization of North Korea."
Russia's Agrosoyuz Commercial Bank was targeted by Treasury for aiding transactions on behalf of Han Jang Su, the Moscow-based chief representative of Foreign Trade Bank, North Korea's primary foreign exchange bank. The US government also imposed sanctions against the FTB's deputy representative, Ri Jong Won.
Both Su and FTB had been previously designated for sanctions by the US. Su was also separately designated by the United Nations. Su and Won should have been expelled from Russia under rules prescribed by the UN. Instead, Russia's Agrosoyuz continued to provide services to Su in violation of UN sanctions, opening multiple bank accounts for at least three FTB front companies, according to the US government.
The two front companies also designated under the latest batch of sanctions by the US government include: Dandong Zhongsheng Industry & Trade Co. Ltd and Korea Ungum Corporation.
The sanctions come a day after President Donald Trump tweeted his thanks to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un Thursday, after the possible remains of American war dead killed in the Korean War arrived back on US soil.
"Thank you to Chairman Kim Jong Un for keeping your word & starting the process of sending home the remains of our great and beloved missing fallen! I am not at all surprised that you took this kind action. Also, thank you for your nice letter - l look forward to seeing you soon!" Trump tweeted in the early hours of Thursday morning.
On Wednesday 55 cases of what are believed to be the remains of Americans who were killed or captured during the Korean War were transported to a military base in Hawaii, after they were handed over to US officials who had traveled to North Korea last week.
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