The U.S. Treasury Department on Friday sanctioned a Russian bank for a weapons of mass destruction-related transaction connected to North Korea.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced one new sanction “targets a Russian bank for knowingly facilitating a significant transaction on behalf of an individual designated for weapons of mass destruction-related activities in connection with North Korea.”
One individual and two entities were also named for “facilitating North Korean illicit financial activity.”
“This action reinforces the United States’ ongoing commitments to upholding the decisions of the UN Security Council (UNSC),” the announcement made clear.
“The United States will continue to enforce UN and U.S. sanctions and shut down illicit revenue streams to North Korea. Our sanctions will remain in place until we have achieved the final, fully-verified denuclearization of North Korea,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
The consequences of the sanctions are “any property or interests in property of the designated persons in the possession or control of U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States is blocked, and U.S. persons generally are prohibited from dealing with any of the designated persons.”
Russian-registered Agrosoyuz Commercial Bank was sanctioned in Friday’s determination “for knowingly conducting or facilitating a significant transaction on behalf of Han Jang Su, the Moscow-based chief representative of Foreign Trade Bank (FTB), North Korea’s primary foreign exchange bank.”
Two companies were designated front companies for North Korea’s FTB.
From 2009 to 2013 “Agrosoyuz processed millions of dollars in transactions through accounts owned by North Korean commercial banks,” according to the Treasury Department. Agrosoyuz and other Russian banks arranged movement of Korea United Development Bank (KUDB) funds from 2013 to 2016 in the millions. In 2017 and 2018 Agrosoyuz opened more bank accounts and investments in the millions from North Korean front companies.
Friday’s Treasury Department action was made under under September 2017 E.O. 13810, and effectively “blocks all property and interests in property of Agrosoyuz that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any U.S. person, and provides that such property and interests in property may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in.”