The US has added four Russians and one Russian company to the North Korea sanction list, the Ministry of Finance website announced on Tuesday, August 22.
Russian citizens Irina Huish, Ruben Kirakosyan, Mikhail Pisklin and Andrey Serbin were placed under sanctions. The list also includes Russian company Gefest-M, which the US treasury claims is connected to the Korean Tangun Trading Corporation. As mentioned on the US treasury website, Ruben Kirakosyan is connected to Gefest-M.
In addition, one Namibian citizen and one Chinese citizen were placed under the sanctions. Among the legal entities which were placed under US sanctions were mainly companies from China, as well as two companies from Singapore and one from Namibia.
In US Finance Ministry’s opinion, all of the new entities on the sanction list either help those who are already under sanctions on account of North Korea’s missile program, or “trade energy with North Korea”.
“The Treasury will continue to increase pressure on North Korea by targeting those who support the advancement of nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and isolating them from the American financial system,” said US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, as cited by CNBC.
“It is unacceptable for individuals and companies in China, Russia and elsewhere to enable North Korea to generate income used to develop weapons of mass destruction and destabilize the region,” he added.
On July 1, the US introduced sanctions against three Russian companies and one Russian citizen for aiding the development of the North Korean nuclear program.
In March 2016, US President Barack Obama introduced extensive sanctions related to North Korea’s nuclear program, and gave the US authorities permission to blacklist any companies and citizens who collaborate with the major sectors of the North Korean economy.