The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced Wednesday that it had sanctioned three entities and two individuals for illicitly generating revenue in support of the North Korean government. Four of the five actors targeted by the U.S. Wednesday were previously sanctioned by the EU for supporting North Korea’s ballistic missiles program.
Korea Paekho Trading Corporation (Paekho) and Chilsong Trading Corporation (Chilsong) were sanctioned by the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control for their status as entities controlled by North Korea’s government, as well as for aiding the development of the country’s intelligence branches and defense ministry.
Chilsong, which reports directly to the Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un’s regime, accumulates foreign currency, collects intelligence, and provides cover statuses for intelligence operatives, U.S. authorities said.
The company draws similarities to North Korea’s Bureau 39, which generates hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign currencies each year—often through illegal enterprises—in order to maintain the country’s slush funds and nuclear weapons program.
Paekho, also a subordinate to the DPRK, has generated funds via conducting construction projects “on behalf of regimes throughout the Middle East and Africa,” a Treasury spokesperson said.
The company was further noted to report directly to the country’s defense ministry, the Ministry of People’s Armed Forces, which was similarly sanctioned by the U.S. back in 2017.
“The DPRK’s unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs threaten international security and regional stability,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “The United States remains committed to targeting the regime’s global illicit networks that generate revenue for these destabilizing activities.”
North Korean nationals Hwang Kil Su and Pak Hwa Song, who both established Congo Aconde SARL in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), were sanctioned Wednesday for using their business to generate revenue for Kim Jong-un’s regime.
Their company, which is involved in construction projects within the Congo, also opened several U.S. dollar-denominated accounts at the DRC branch of a Cameroonian bank, authorities said. Congo Aconde SARL has thus been sanctioned for acting in the interests of the North Korean government.
Chilsong, Paekho, Pak, and Hwang have all been previously sanctioned by the EU for sanctions evasion and for supporting the DPRK’s nuclear and ballistic missiles program.
March 3, 2023 Published by The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.