US expands sanctions on Myanmar, NKorea aviation sectors

Nov 8, 2022, 2:21 PM | Updated: 4:16 pm

FILE - This photo provided by the North Korean government shows missiles during a military parade m...

FILE - This photo provided by the North Korean government shows missiles during a military parade marking the ruling party congress, at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea on Jan. 14, 2021. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. Korean language watermark on image as provided by source reads: "KCNA" which is the abbreviation for Korean Central News Agency. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

(Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is expanding sanctions against the aviation and defense sectors of North Korea and Myanmar as it continues to punish the two countries for weapons-related violations of U.S. and United Nationsregulations and human rights abuses.

The Treasury Department announced Tuesday that it had imposed penalties on two agents for North Korea’s state-owned airline Air Koryo and redesignated a previously sanctioned North Korean cyber agency that it said launders profits from cryptocurrency heists to further Pyongyang’s weapons programs.

Treasury also announced sanctions against the Myanmar aviation firm Sky Aviator Company Limited and its owner for facilitating weapons purchases for the country’s military government to crackdown on protesters following a February 2021 coup.

North Korean agents Ri Sok, an Air Koryo representative based in China, and Yan Zhihong, an airline logistics manager, were targeted with sanctions for their support for for North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

Air Koryo, which has previously been accused of transporting critical weapons components into North Korea mainly from China, was already under U.S. sanctions. The new penalties freeze any assets that the two men may have in U.S. jurisdictions or assets that may cross into them. It also bars Americans from conducting any business with them.

Treasury also reupped sanctions against Tornado Cash, a cyber firm that has allegedly served as a conduit for processing stolen virtual currency, including from the largest known such theft to date, a $455 million heist that was orchestrated by the North Korean-controlled company Lazarus Group.

“Today’s sanctions action targets two key nodes of (North Korea’s) weapons programs: its increasing reliance on illicit activities, including cybercrime, to generate revenue, and its ability to procure and transport goods in support of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs,” Treasury said in a statement.

On Myanmar, which is also known as Burma, Treasury said it was hitting Sky Aviator and its owner, Kyaw Min Oo, for importing aviation parts, weapons and other material used by the government to clamp down on post-coup dissent.

Treasury said the sanctions, which include asset freezes and a bar on American transactions with those named, “target those who profit from the oppressive actions of the regime by operating in the defense sectors of Burma’s economy and by enabling Burma’s military connections to foreign militaries.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Lead water pipes pulled from underneath the street are seen in Newark, N.J., Oct. 21, 2021. (AP Pho...

Associated Press

Biden to require cities to replace harmful lead pipes within 10 years

The Biden administration has previously said it wants all of the nation's roughly 9 million lead pipes to be removed, and rapidly.

5 days ago

Facebook's Meta logo sign is seen at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on, Oct. 28, 2...

Associated Press

Meta shuts down thousands of fake Facebook accounts that were primed to polarize voters ahead of 2024

Meta said it removed 4789 Facebook accounts in China that targeted the United States before next year’s election.

5 days ago

A demonstrator in Tel Aviv holds a sign calling for a cease-fire in the Hamas-Israel war on Nov. 21...

Associated Press

Hamas releases a third group of hostages as part of truce, and says it will seek to extend the deal

The fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas was back on track Sunday as the first American was released under a four-day truce.

10 days ago

Men look over the site of a deadly explosion at Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, Wednesday, Oct. 18, ...

Associated Press

New AP analysis of last month’s deadly Gaza hospital explosion rules out widely cited video

The Associated Press is publishing an updated visual analysis of the deadly Oct. 17 explosion at Gaza's Al-Ahli Hospital.

13 days ago

Peggy Simpson holds a photograph of law enforcement carrying Lee Harvey Oswald's gun through a hall...

Associated Press

JFK assassination remembered 60 years later by surviving witnesses to history, including AP reporter

Peggy Simpson is among the last surviving witnesses who are sharing their stories as the nation marks the 60th anniversary.

13 days ago

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, ...

Associated Press

Israeli Cabinet approves cease-fire with Hamas; deal includes release of 50 hostages

Israel’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a cease-fire deal with the Hamas militant group that would bring a temporary halt to a devastating war.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

(KTAR News Graphic)...

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Follow @KTAR923...

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University: innovating Arizona health care education

Midwestern University’s Glendale Campus near Loop 101 and 59th Avenue is an established leader in health care education and one of Arizona’s largest and most valuable health care resources.

US expands sanctions on Myanmar, NKorea aviation sectors