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Published on September 26th, 2017 | by Admin

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North Korean banks operating in China, Russia, Libya, and the United Arab Emirates Sanctioned by U.S

Action targets North Korean use of the international financial system to facilitate its WMD and ballistic missile programs

September 26, 2017

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action today to further disrupt North Korea’s access to the international financial system.  OFAC designated eight North Korean banks and 26 individuals linked to North Korean financial networks in response to North Korea’s ongoing development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and continued violations of United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs).  The individuals sanctioned today are North Korean nationals operating in China, Russia, Libya and the United Arab Emirates who act as representatives of North Korean banks.  OFAC also identified two banks as part of the Government of North Korea.  As a result of today’s action, any property or interests in property of the designated persons in the possession or control of U.S. persons or within the United States must be blocked.

“We are targeting North Korean banks and financial facilitators acting as representatives for North Korean banks across the globe,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.  “This further advances our strategy to fully isolate North Korea in order to achieve our broader objectives of a peaceful and denuclearized Korean peninsula.  This action is also consistent with UN Security Council Resolutions.”

Today’s actions are being taken by the Treasury Department to complement UNSCR 2375, which was adopted unanimously by the United Nations Security Council on September 11, 2017 and includes the strongest sanctions ever imposed on North Korea. 

North Korean Banks

Pursuant to E.O. 13722, OFAC is identifying the Foreign Trade Bank of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Central Bank of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as blocked agencies, instrumentalities, or controlled entities of the Government of North Korea.  Foreign Trade Bank is North Korea’s primary foreign exchange bank.  This bank was also designated by the UN and the United States in 2013 pursuant to E.O. 13382 for facilitating transactions on behalf of North Korea’s WMD proliferation network. 

Pursuant to E.O. 13810, which targets, in part, persons determined to be operating in the financial services industry in the North Korean economy, OFAC is designating eight North Korean banks as follows:

  • Agricultural Development Bank;
  • Cheil Credit Bank;
  • Hana Banking Corporation Ltd;
  • International Industrial Development Bank;
  • Jinmyong Joint Bank;
  • Jinsong Joint Bank;
  • Koryo Commercial Bank Ltd; and
  • Ryugyong Commercial Bank.

North Korean Financial Representatives

Today, OFAC is also designating 26 individuals who are representatives of North Korean banks operating in China, Russia, Libya, and the United Arab Emirates.  These designations are being made pursuant to E.O. 13687, which targets, among others, agencies, instrumentalities, and controlled entities of the Government of North Korea and the Workers’ Party of Korea, and E.O. 13810, which targets persons determined to be operating in the financial services industry in the North Korean economy.

  • Kim Tong Chol is a Foreign Trade Bank representative in Shenyang, China.
  • Ko Chol Man is a Foreign Trade Bank representative in Shenyang, China.
  • Ri Chun Hwan is a Foreign Trade Bank representative in Zhuhuai, China. 
  • Ri Chun Song is a Foreign Trade Bank representative in Beijing, China.
  • Kim Kyong Il is a Foreign Trade Bank deputy chief representative in Libya.
  • Ku Ja Hyong is a Foreign Trade Bank chief representative in Libya.

Ch’oe So’k-min is a Foreign Trade Bank representative in Shenyang, China.  In 2016, Ch’oe So’k-min was the deputy representative at Foreign Trade Bank in Shenyang.  He has been associated with cash transfers from the Foreign Trade Bank office in Shenyang to banks affiliated with North Korean special organizations and Reconnaissance General Bureau operatives located overseas in an effort to evade sanctions.

Kwak Chong-chol is a North Korean national located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates as a Korea Kumgang Group Bank representative.  As of February 2016, Kwak Chong-chol was a general manager of a North Korean front company that was responsible for collecting funds from North Korean workers.

Ryom Hui-bong is a North Korean national located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates as a Korea Kumgang Group Bank representative.  As of February 2016, in his role as general manager of North Korean front company Ryong Hung General Trading, Ryom Hui-bong was responsible for collecting funds from North Korean workers in the United Arab Emirates and hand carrying the money to Pyongyang, North Korea.

  • Pak Mun Il is an official of Korea Daesong Bank located in Yanji, China.
  • Ho Young Il is a Hana Bank representative located in Dandong, China.  In 2016, Ho Young Il was associated with a high volume of U.S. dollar transactions for the Foreign Trade Bank.
  • Kang Min is a Daesong Bank representative located in Beijing, China who, in late 2016, held Chinese bank accounts.
  • Kim Sang-ho is a Daesong Bank representative located in Yanji, China.  As of 2015, Kim Sang-ho was an Office 39 official posted as a Korea Daesong Trading Company representative in Yanji, China.
  • Kim Jong Man is a Korea Unification Development Bank representative located in Zhuhai, China.  In 2015, Kim Jong Man was an Office 39 official posted to Hong Kong.
  • Hyok Chol Kim is a Korea Unification Development Bank representative located in Zhuhai, China.
  • Mun Kyong Hwan is a Bank of East Land representative located in Dandong, China.
  • Pae Won Uk is a Daesong Bank representative located in Beijing, China.
  • Pak Bong Nam is an Ilsim International Bank representative located in Shenyang, China.
  • Chu Hyo’k is a North Korean national located in Vladivostok, Russia as a Foreign Trade Bank representative.
  • Ri U’n-so’ng is a Korea Unification Development Bank representative in Moscow, Russia.
  • Pang Su Nam is an Ilsim International Bank representative in Zhuhai, China.
  • Cha Sung Jun is a Korea Kumgang Group Bank Representative in Beijing, China.  He has held several accounts under his name at Chinese banks and is suspected of operating a cover company.
  • Ji Sang Jun is an official of Korea Kumgang Group Bank in Moscow, Russia.
  • Kim Kyong Hyok is a First Credit Bank representative in Shanghai, China.  He is associated with several bank accounts and companies located in China.
  • Pak Chol Nam is a First Credit Bank representative in Beijing, China.
  • Ri Ho Nam is a Ryugyong Commercial Bank representative in Beijing, China.




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