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U.S. lists N. Korean bank for involvement in missile sales to Iran

All Headlines 04:08 October 24, 2009

By Hwang Doo-hyong

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23 (Yonhap) -- The United States Friday blacklisted a North Korean bank and its president for their involvement in proliferation of ballistic missiles to Iran.

The Department of the Treasury issued a statement and "designated Amroggang Development Bank as a proliferator of weapons of mass destruction under Executive Order 13382 for being owned or controlled by North Korea's Tanchon Commercial Bank."

The Treasury described Tanchon as "the financial arm of the U.S. and U.N.-designated North Korean company Korea Mining Development Corporation," saying it "plays a role in financing KOMID's sales of ballistic missiles and has also been involved in ballistic missile transactions from KOMID to Iran's Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group, the U.S. and U.N.-designated Iranian organization responsible for developing liquid-fueled ballistic missiles."

KOMID is North Korea's premiere arms dealer and main exporter of goods and equipment related to ballistic missiles and conventional weapons.

Tanchon, a Pyongyang-based commercial bank, is already being sanctioned by E.O. 13382 and the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1718 adopted after North Korea's rocket launch in April.

E.O. 13382 freezes the assets of designated proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and their supporters and prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in any transactions with them.

Kim Tong-myong, Tanchon's president, was also designated for acting on behalf of Tanchon, the statement said, noting Kim "has held various positions within Tanchon since at least 2002" and "has also played a role in managing Amroggang's affairs using the alias Kim Chin-sok."

"As long as North Korea continues to try to evade sanctions and obscure its illicit proliferation transactions, we will take steps to combat that activity and protect the integrity of the international financial system," said Under Secretary of Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey.


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