North Korea entities added to U.S. State Department sanctions list

WASHINGTON, July 5 (UPI) — More North Korean entities were recently added to a U.S. sanctions list and at least one firm has been contributing to Pyongyang’s uranium enrichment program.

The U.S. State Department said Monday companies and individuals involved in purchasing equipment for the program that converts fuel into highly enriched uranium are to be embargoed under the Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act, South Korean newspaper Munhwa Ilbo reported Tuesday.

The North Korean entities under sanctions include Namhung Trading Corp., Saeng Pil Trading Corp. and the General Department of Military Cooperation, South Korea’s KBS reported.

One North Korean individual, Kang Mun Kil, has also been placed under sanctions.

Kang is thought to be the chief executive of Namhung, which is based in China, Voice of America reported.

Namhung serves a variety of functions, including obtaining materials like aluminum tubes for uranium enrichment, a project that has been ongoing since the late ’90s.

The new sanctions are to be in effect for two years, and all transactions with any of the listed North Korean entities are to be banned, and their assets in the United States are to be frozen.

Namhung and Kang Mun Gil have were placed under sanctions on March 2 under a separate North Korean sanctions law.

The Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act was first adopted in 2000 against Iran, followed by Syria in 2005 and North Korea in 2006.

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