Accessibility links

Breaking News

US Sanctions North Korean Bank for Iran Arms Deals

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il (File)

The United States has imposed sanctions on a North Korean financial institution for alleged involvement in North Korea's illegal arms dealings with Iran.

The Treasury Department said Tuesday the Bank of East Land, also known as the Dongbang Bank, is a "major conduit" serving North Korea's conventional arms trade.

It said the institution helped arrange weapons sales, and provided other support to an arms maker that allegedly exported torpedoes and technical aid to Iranian defense-related firms.

The Treasury Department said the Bank of East Land worked with a North Korean arms manufacturer, Green Pine Associated Corporation, to transfer funds in a way that circumvents sanctions already imposed on Iran.

A top Treasury official, David Cohen, said his agency's move Tuesday exposes North Korea's efforts to circumvent sanctions to conduct illegal activities, and limits its ability to "abuse the international financial system."

The move freezes any assets the Bank of East Land has under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. entities from conducting any transactions with the institution.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AFP.