U.S. Sanctions Little-Known Russian Bank for North Korea Actions

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned a small Russian-registered bank, along with an individual and two other entities for facilitating North Korean financial transactions.

The Treasury Department announced the sanctions on its website Friday. Agrosoyuz Commercial Bank was targeted for “knowingly conducting or facilitating a significant transaction on behalf of Han Jang Su, the Moscow-based chief representative of Foreign Trade Bank (FTB), North Korea’s primary foreign exchange bank,” Treasury said in a statement Friday.

Agrosoyuz is Russia’s 203rd largest bank with 11.3 billion rubles ($179 million) in assets, according to Banki.ru. Treasury said Agrosoyuz opened bank accounts for at least three front companies for North Korea’s FTB. It also processed over $8 million for Korea United Development Bank, Treasury said.

The Treasury Department also sanctioned Ri Jong Won, the Moscow-based deputy representative of FTB, and two other companies, Dandong Zhongsheng Industry & Trade Co., Ltd. and Korea Ungum Corporation.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin characterized the move as the latest effort to enforce international sanctions designed to pressure Pyongyang to give up its nuclear program.

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