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U.S. designates entities in China, Russia for violation of U.N. sanctions on N. Korea

Diplomacy 01:22 December 11, 2021

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10 (Yonhap) -- The United States on Friday designated a number of entities in China and Russia for violating U.N. Security Council resolutions that prohibit U.N. member states from employing or hosting North Korean workers.

"DPRK nationals often work in other countries, including for the purpose of generating foreign currency earnings that the DPRK can use to support its unlawful weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and ballistic missile programs," the U.S. Department of Treasury said in a press release, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"UN Security Council resolution 2397, adopted on December 22, 2017, requires UN Member States to have repatriated DPRK nationals earning income in their jurisdictions by December 22, 2019, subject to limited exceptions," it added.

The department noted those illegally employing North Korean workers often contribute to the poor treatment of those workers that include "constant surveillance" and having a significant portion of their wages confiscated by the DPRK regime."

Those newly designated include the European Institute of Justice, a Russian university based in Moscow, and its provost, Dmitry Yurevich Soin, who, according to the treasury department, "sponsored hundreds of student visas for DPRK construction workers in Russia."

"Some of these workers were affiliated with a DPRK WMD entity, and the revenue they generated from their labor could have been used to support DPRK WMD programs," it said.

The department also designated SEK Studio, a North Korean animation studio with workers in North Korea and China.

"SEK Studio has utilized an assortment of front companies to evade sanctions targeting the Government of the DPRK and to deceive international financial institutions," it said.

Lu Hezheng, a senior employee and former shareholder of Nings Cartoon Studio in China, worked with representatives of SEK Studio to facilitate wire transfers through Nings Cartoon Studio and other front companies in China, according to the department.

The department designated Lu and a range of companies affiliated with him, including Nings Cartoon Studio and Shanghai Hongman Cartoon and Animation Design Studio.


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