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US designates eight entities, individuals linked to DPRK weapons programmes

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US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken. Photo: State Department/Ronny Przysucha

Washington, Jan 13 (MNN) The US has designated eight DPRK-linked individuals and entities under an Executive Order to target proliferators of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and WMD delivery systems.

The seven individuals and one entity designated on Wednesday (local time) are all linked to the DPRK’s weapons programmes, Secretary of State Antony J Blinken said.

“These designations convey our serious and ongoing concern about the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s continued proliferation activities and those who support it. The United States will use every appropriate tool to address the DPRK’s WMD and ballistic missile programs, which constitute a serious threat to international peace and security and undermine the global non-proliferation regime.”

Specifically, Blinken said, the US Department of State has designated one DPRK individual, one Russian individual, and one Russian entity that have engaged in activities or transactions to materially contribute to the proliferation of WMD or their means of delivery by DPRK.

“Between at least 2018 and 2021, Russia-based DPRK national O Yong Ho has procured and engaged in efforts to procure missile-applicable items from third countries on behalf of the DPRK’s missile programme, including aramid fibre, stainless steel tubes, and ball bearings on behalf of the Rocket Industry Department (aka Ministry of Rocket Industry), which is subordinate to the DPRK’s UN- and U.S.-designated Munitions Industry Department.”

The US secretary said that between at least 2016 and 2021, Yong Ho worked with Russian entity Parsek LLC and Russian national Roman Anatolyevich Alar, the director for development of Russian firm Parsek LLC, to procure multiple goods with ballistic missile applications, including Kevlar thread, aramid fibre, aviation oil, ball bearings, and precision milling machines controlled by the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Roman Anatolyevich Alar also provided O Yong Ho with instructions for creating solid rocket fuel mixtures.

The Department of the Treasury designations targeted five People’s Republic of China- and Russia-based DPRK representatives of a DPRK entity subordinate to the DPRK’s UN- and U.S.-designated Second Academy of Natural Sciences (SANS).

The Department of State designated this entity in 2010 for its involvement with or provision of support for the DPRK’s weapons programmes.

“We have been and continue to coordinate closely with our allies and partners to address the threats posed by the DPRK’s destabilising activity and to advance our shared objective of the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. We remain committed to seeking dialogue and diplomacy with the DPRK and call on the DPRK to engage in negotiations. We urge all UN Member States to fully implement the UN Security Council resolutions addressing the DPRK.”

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