North Korea

US issues sanctions over North Korean missile program


A North Korean and a Russian national have been sanctioned following Pyongyang’s Aug. 23 failed satellite launch.

US issues sanctions over North Korean missile program

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his daughter, Kim Ju Ae, watch a test launch of the Hwasong-18 solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile in April 2023 from an undisclosed location in North Korea in this image released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency on May 16, 2023.

The U.S. Treasury has sanctioned two individuals and a company accused of helping the North Korean regime raise funds for its ballistic missile program, according to a statement released on Thursday.

The sanctions come “in response to the DPRK’s Aug. 23 attempted launch of a reconnaissance satellite into orbit,” the statement says, using an acronym for the North Korean government. 

They target two Russia-based individuals, Jon Jin Yong and Sergey Mikhaylovich Kozlov, it says, and the company that they ran, Intellekt LLC.

“Russia-based Jon Jin Yong worked with Sergey Mikhaylovich Kozlov (Kozlov) to coordinate the use of DPRK construction workers in Russia and served as a director of one of Kozlov’s companies,” it says.

“Kozlov has assisted Jon Jin Yong in the procurement of items commonly used in the ship-building industry. Jon Jin Yong led a team of DPRK information technology (IT) workers in Russia and worked with Russian nationals to obtain identification documents to validate the DPRK IT team’s accounts on freelance IT work platforms.”

Jon Jin Yong, Kozlov and their company have been added to the Treasury’s Specially Designated Nationals list, which prohibits American citizens and companies from doing business with them.

The U.S. Treasury said they were being sanctioned for their role in supporting the development of weapons of mass of destruction.

The sanctions target “the facilitation networks that enable the DPRK’s ballistic missile and WMD programs, in violation of UN Security Council resolutions,” Brian Nelson, undersecretary of the treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, was quoted saying in the statement.

North Korea on Aug. 23 attempted to launch a spy satellite into orbit for the second time in two months. However, the launch again failed. 

Amid military drills held in response by the United States and South Korea off the Korean peninsula this week, Pyongyang on Wednesday night launched two short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast. The regime said it was to test its defense against a nuclear attack.

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