77.2 F
Los Angeles
Wednesday, July 24, 2024

U.S., South Korea sanction a North Korean banker

Must read

- Advertisement -
Illustration by Moon Seo-young [JOONGANG ILBO]
Illustration by Moon Seo-young [JOONGANG ILBO]

Seoul and Washington jointly levied sanctions on a North Korean individual tied with the regime’s illicit cyber activities and weapons programs.

Jointly announced by the governments of South Korea and the United States on Monday, the sanctions target an individual named Sim Hyon-sop, who is associated with the Korea Kwangson Banking Corporation, a bank in North Korea sanctioned by the UN Security Council since 2016.

“Sim has been involved with illegally financing North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs through activities such as money laundering,” said the Foreign Ministry in Seoul in a statement.

Sim helped launder millions of dollars collected illegally by North Korean IT workers working incognito overseas, and helped the regime fund its weapons programs, said the ministry.

It was the sixth sanction levied on North Korean entities or individuals by the Yoon Suk Yeol government, and the first on a North Korean individual tied with illegal cyber activities that the South Korean government levied simultaneously with the United States.

The announcement coincided with Yoon’s state visit to Washington, scheduled from Monday to Saturday.

“The DPRK continues to exploit virtual currency and extensive illicit facilitation networks to access the international financial system and generate revenue for the regime,” said U.S. Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson, refers to North Korea by the acronym of its full name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“The United States remains committed to holding accountable those who enable the DPRK’s destabilizing activities, especially in light of the three intercontinental ballistic missiles Pyongyang has launched this year alone.”

BY ESTHER CHUNG [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]