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3 N. Korean Companies Hit With US Sanctions

Posted February. 05, 2009 08:30,   


Three North Korean companies have received U.S. sanctions for engaging in missile transactions and proliferating weapons of mass destruction, the U.S. State Department in its Federal Register Monday.

The move is the Obama administration’s first official action against the communist country since its inauguration.

The department’s bureau of international security and nonproliferation said (North) Korea Mining and Development Corp., Mokong Trading Corp. and Sino-Ki were included on the U.S. sanctions list for violating the Arms Export Control Act that bans missile technology transfers.

The three companies were also penalized for taking part in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It is unclear, however, whether Mokong and Moksong are the same company.

The companies will be barred from bidding for U.S. procurement contracts, get existing contracts canceled, and be prohibited from exporting their goods, technology and services to the U.S. market. The sanctions took effect Monday and will remain valid for two years.

North Korea is not a market economy so penalties apply to all of the North Korean government’s activities related to missiles and weapons of mass destruction, the State Department said.

This is the eighth time for the mining company, which has been closely watched by Washington as an exporter of Pyongyang’s ballistic missiles and conventional weapons, to get U.S. sanctions.

The company was slapped with sanctions in 1992, 1998, 2000, 2003, January and August in 2007, and August last year.

In a related move, the Defense Department and the State Department called the North’s alleged preparation to test-fire a long-range Taepodong-2 missile a violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718 on sanctions against North Korea and “provocative.”