US imposes sanctions over North Korean missiles to Russia

‘We will not hesitate to take further actions,’ US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
By Alex Willemyns for RFA
2024.01.12
Washington
US imposes sanctions over North Korean missiles to Russia A representative from the prosecutor's office shows parts of an unidentified missile, which Ukrainian authorities believe was made in North Korea and was used in a strike in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Jan. 6, 2024.
Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy/Reuters

The United States has imposed sanctions on three entities and one individual involved in the transfer and testing of ballistic missiles from North Korea to Russia for use in the invasion of Ukraine.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on Thursday the U.S. “continues to closely monitor” the relationship between Pyongyang and Moscow and the possibility of further transfers occurring.

The “transfer of ballistic missiles to Russia supports Russia's war of aggression, increases the suffering of the Ukrainian people, and undermines the global nonproliferation regime,” Blinken said.

“We will not hesitate to take further actions,” he added.

The White House has accused Russia of firing North Korean-made missiles into Ukraine on both Dec. 30 and Jan. 2, with transfers of weapons believed to have taken place since at least November.

Sanctions

The sanctioned entities include 224th Flight Unit State Airlines, “a state-owned enterprise that was spun off from Russia’s Air Force to provide commercial air cargo transport services.” The company is accused of transfering the cargo of missiles in November.

ENG_KOR_RussiaSanctions_01122024.2.jpg
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Jan. 4, 2024, in Washington. A map showing the path of a Russian missile attack on Ukraine is in the background. (Evan Vucci/AP)

Vladimir Vladimirovich Mikheychik, the general-director of 224th Flight Unit State Airlines, has also had sanctions imposed against him.

The other two entities are the Vladimirovka Advanced Weapons and Research Complex and the Ashuluk Firing Range, which is used for missile test launches. Both were used for the recent transfer and testing of missiles from North Korea, the State Department says.

Aircraft operated by 224th Flight Unit State Airlines and a series of cryptocurrency wallets were also blacklisted by the United States.

The sanctions mean that U.S. companies and individuals are banned from doing business with those targeted, and any property or funds controlled by U.S. companies must be frozen and reported to the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

On Tuesday, the United States also issued a joint statement with nearly 50 other countries condemning the transfer of missiles.

“We are deeply concerned about the security implications that this cooperation has in Europe, on the Korean Peninsula, across the Indo-Pacific region, and around the world,” the statement said.

“Our governments stand together in resolute opposition to arms transfers between the DPRK and Russia,” it said, using an acronym for the formal title of the North Korean regime.

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