By Byun Duk-kun
WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 (Yonhap) — The U.S. Department of Treasury on Thursday added two new North Korean companies to its list of entities subject to sanctions that seek to prevent North Korea’s weapons programs.
They include Korea Cholsan General Trading Corp., also known as Chkholsan, Cholsan Trading Co. or Cholson LLC, and is based in Pyongyang, according to the latest update posted on the department website.
The other is Mokran LLC, based in St. Petersburg, Russia, it said.
The department said both companies are engaged in “construction of other civil engineering projects” but did not provide reasons for their addition to the list of “specially designated nationals.”
North Korea is said to be maintaining numerous covert operations, often disguised as legitimate businesses, to help procure parts and materials needed for its weapons development programs or funnel hard currency into the impoverished nation.
Dozens of North Korean entities, including individuals, have been put on sanctions lists by the United States, as well as the United Nations.
In its latest report, published in late September, a U.N. panel of experts noted the communist state continues to violate U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions through “illicit” means that include ship-to-ship transfers of refined petroleum and other prohibited products.
The panel had also noted at least two known North Korean arms deals were sighted in Iran until as late as the beginning of 2020, which suggested continued weapons cooperation between the North and Iran despite each country facing various U.S. and other international sanctions.