US sanctions several Russia companies and individuals over North Korea arms transfer News
© WikiMedia Commons (State Emergency Service of Ukraine)
US sanctions several Russia companies and individuals over North Korea arms transfer

US Department of Treasury sanctioned on Thursday two Russian individuals and three Russian companies over the transfer of weapons between Russia and North Korea, including ballistic missiles for use in Ukraine. Rafael Anatolyevich Gazaryan and Aleksey Budnev are the individuals sanctioned, whereas the companies sanctioned by the department are Trans Kapital Limited Liability Company, the Rafort Limited Liability Company and Tekhnologiya, OOO.

As a result of the sanctions, all property and interests in property that are located in the United States and that belong to the designated entities are blocked. This means that these assets are effectively frozen, and any transaction that could involve them is prohibited without acquiring an authorization from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

The department ordered that any institution or person that engages in transactions or certain activities with the designated entities faces the risk of sanctions or being prone to law enforcement. The activities prohibited include financial contributions or exchange of goods and services to the entities or individuals.

North Korea denied supplying weapons to Russia, labelling the claims a false rumor. Kim Yo-jong, sister of leader Kim Jong-un, dismissed reports of exporting arms to Russia as an absurd paradox aiming to mislead the public, despite evidence presented by South Korea and the US that Russia is using North Korean weapons in Ukraine.

The sanctions are a continuation of the previous action taken by the State Department and the Department of Treasury months ago against the transfer and testing of ballistic missiles used in Ukraine. In January, sanctions were imposed on one individual and three entities involved in transferring and testing DPRK-origin ballistic missiles for Russia. The recent action expands the list of targeted individuals and companies that engage and facilitate in military cooperation between North Korea and Russia.