WASHINGTON: The US Treasury blacklisted North Korea’s ambassador in Myanmar Friday, calling him a “facilitator” of Pyongyang’s already-sanctioned arms trading company Komid.
The Treasury placed on its sanctions list Kim Sok Chol, the ambassador, as well as Komid officials Ri Chong Chol and Kim Kwang Hyok, for “acting for or on behalf” of Komid.
The sanctions forbid US individuals or entities from doing any business with those on the blacklist, effectively restricting their access to international financial networks crucial to doing business.
Government-controlled Komid, or Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation, is already under US and UN sanctions for its key role in North Korean arms proliferation.
The Treasury calls the company Pyongyang’s “primary arms dealer and main exporter of goods and equipment related to ballistic missiles and conventional weapons.”
It said Kim Sok Chol “is paid by Komid for his assistance and arranges meetings on behalf of Komid, including a meeting between Komid and Burmese (Myanmar) defense-related persons to discuss financial matters.”
In addition, the Treasury set sanctions on Egypt-based Hwang Su Man and his company EKO Development and Investment, for also working with Komid in marketing North Korean weapons systems abroad.