News / Asia

US Imposes Sanctions on Burmese Companies, Military Staff Officer

FILE - Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence of the U.S. Treasury Department David Cohen, July 17, 2012.  FILE - Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence of the U.S. Treasury Department David Cohen, July 17, 2012.
x
FILE - Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence of the U.S. Treasury Department David Cohen, July 17, 2012.
FILE - Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence of the U.S. Treasury Department David Cohen, July 17, 2012.
VOA News
The United States has imposed sanctions on a military officer and three companies in Burma, also known as Myanmar, on accusations of involvement in banned arms dealings with North Korea.

The Treasury Department announced the sanctions against Asia Metal Co. Ltd., Soe Min Htike Co. Ltd., and Excellence Mineral Manufacturing. Also named is Lt. Colonel Kyaw Nyunt Oo, a military staff officer.

Asia Metal denies wrongdoing. Its general manager, Htein Lin, told VOA's Burmese service Wednesday that his company only worked on construction projects for the Burmese military and was not involved in any arms deals.

"As a private construction company, we are just doing our job. They asked us to build a particular building and we did that. We have no idea what it was for. We are not aware of any connection with North Korea and we do not have anything to do with North Korea,"  he said.

He added that his company is open to participating in any inquiry.

The Treasury Department said Tuesday that as of December of last year, the company "constructed buildings and supplied construction materials on a [Burmese Directorate of Defense Industries] factory compound where approximately 30 North Koreans were still working."

VOA has not been able to reach the other two Burmese companies or Lt. Colonel Kyaw Nyunt Oo for comment.

The U.S. and the United Nations have banned arms deals with North Korea.

The sanctions prohibit any U.S. company or individual from doing business with them and could mean a freezing of any assets they hold that are subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

In announcing the sanctions, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen was quoted as saying, "We will continue to target this activity in Burma, and the region, as we work with our international partners to shut down North Korea's dangerous and destabilizing weapons proliferation."

Aung Lin Htut, a former deputy chief of mission at the Burmese embassy in Washington who sought asylum in the U.S., says he is sure one of the companies on the list is guilty.

"I know Soe Min Htike Co. Ltd. This company is a broker between North Korea and military," he said. "They brought the weapons from North Korea as broker. They were big name when I was in Burma . But I don't know about Asia Metal Company."

It is the second time this year that the U.S. has announced such sanctions. In July, it placed sanctions on Lt. General Thein Htay, the chief of the DDI.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Burmese service

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid