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US imposes sanctions on Taiwan entity for ties to DPRK

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-05-11 01:50

WASHINGTON - The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on a Taiwan's entity and individual for their roles in the nuclear and ballistic missile programs of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The Department of Treasury blacklisted Trans Multi Mechanics Co. Ltd. and Chang Wen-Fu for their links to Alex H.T. Tsai, an alleged DPRK procurement agent.

Alex Tsai and his son, Yueh-Hsun Tsai, were recently arrested in Estonia and the United States respectively, and each was charged in a US court with "conspiring to defraud the United States in its enforcement of laws and regulations prohibiting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," the Treasury said in a statement.

As CEO and general manager of Trans Multi Mechanics Co. Ltd., Chang Wen-Fu has been "actively" involved in the procurement of dual-use machinery for the DPRK, while Alex Tsai has used the company to procure and ship hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of equipment to the DPRK, the department said.

Alex Tsai was blacklisted by the Treasury in January 2009 for providing support to DPRK's premier arms dealer, Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation. His wife, Lu-chi Su, and two companies under his control, Global Interface Company and Trans Merits Co. Ltd., were targeted as well.

"It is essential that we continue to make it as difficult as possible for North Korea to facilitate its nuclear and ballistic missile programs by exposing key cogs in North Korea's procurement network," said David Cohen, the Treasury's under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

"We will continue to work with our partners in federal law enforcement and our friends around the world to expose anyone assisting the North Korean government's illicit procurement activities," he added.

The Treasury's move bars US citizens from doing business with Chang Wen-Fu and his company, and freezes all of their assets under US jurisdiction.

The UN Security Council passed unanimously resolution 2094 on March 7, condemning DPRK's third nuclear test on February 12 and slapping fresh sanctions.

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