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President Obama Sanctions North Korean Agents over Sony Hack

President Obama Sanctions North Korean Agents over Sony Hack

by Alex GoraleJanuary 2, 2015

north korean agentIn a press release on the US Treasury website this morning, President Obama signed an executive order that sanctions North Korea in response to the Sony Hack. The action is in response to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s numerous provocations. However, the statement specifically mentions the recent cyber-attack targeting Sony Pictures Entertainment, threats against movie theaters and moviegoers.

The order will further isolate North Korea. Specifically the proto-law identifies three entities and ten individuals. The authorized sanctions deny the agents’ access to the US financial system. These persons or entities are reportedly identified as officials in collusion with the Government of North Korea and the Workers’ Party of Korea – spies or agents of the state.

US Treasury Sanctions North Korea: Economic Hit List

The three entities identified in today’s Executive Order have been outed for being controlled by the government of North Korea. Nothing in the release states these organizations were created specifically by North Korea to access the US financial system. The president identifies them as being controlled by the Government of North Korea. The sanctions North Korea receives focus on inhibiting the tyranny from expanding its power in theaters of defense, military arms sales, and cyber security.

Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB): RGB is North Korea’s primary intelligence organization and is involved, inter alia, in a range of activities to include conventional arms trade proscribed by numerous United Nations Security Council Resolutions. RGB was previously listed in the annex to E.O. 13551 on August 30, 2010. RGB is responsible for collecting strategic, operational, and tactical intelligence for the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces. Many of North Korea’s major cyber operations run through RGB.

Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (KOMID): KOMID is North Korea’s primary arms dealer and main exporter of goods and equipment related to ballistic missiles and conventional weapons. KOMID, a North Korean state-owned entity, was previously listed in the annex to E.O. 13382 on July 1, 2005 for its role in North Korea’s proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It was also sanctioned by the United Nations in April 2009. KOMID has offices in multiple countries around the world and facilitates weapons sales for the North Korean government.

Korea Tangun Trading Corporation is subordinate to the Second Academy of Natural Sciences and is primarily responsible for the procurement of commodities and technologies to support North Korea’s defense research and development programs, including materials that are controlled under the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) or the Australia Group. Tangun Trading Corporation was designated by the Department of State pursuant to E.O. 13382 in September 2009 and was designated by the United Nations in 2009. The identifier information for this designated entity is also being updated to include several aliases it uses to operate internationally. The new aliases for Korea Tangun Trading Corporation include Ryung Seng Trading Corporation, Ryungseng Trading Corporation, and Ryungsong Trading Corporation.

Also Read: When Lizards Attack: Security Experts Say Lizard Squad Likely Involved in Sony Hack

From Human Rights Violations to Sony Hack

As of October, 2014, the US has sanctions against Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Sudan. In the past, the sanctions North Korea received were for things like Human Rights violations. In that regard the US is not alone. Most first-world countries have sanctioned North Korea at one point or another.

Additionally, the following ten individuals from around the world have been denied access to the US banking system under today’s Executive Order. The sanctions aim to disrupt North Korean agents around the globe.

Kil Jong Hun and Kim Kwang Yon are officials of the North Korean government and represent the southern African interests of KOMID. Kil Jong Hun is KOMID’s Representative in Namibia and an official of the North Korean government.

Jang Song Chol is a KOMID representative in Russia and an official of the North Korean government. He is working with individuals in Sudan who are procuring materials from him.

Yu Kwang Ho is an official of the North Korean government.

Kim Yong Chol is a KOMID Representative in Iran and an official of the North Korean Government.

Jang Yong Son is a KOMID Representative in Iran and an official of the North Korean government.

Kim Kyu is the KOMID External Affairs Officer and an official of the North Korean government.

Ryu Jin and Kang Ryong are KOMID officials operating in Syria and are officials of the North Korean government.

Kim Kwang Chun is a Korea Tangun Trading Corporation representative in Shenyang, China and an official of the North Korean government

Images from Shutterstock.

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