Connect to share and comment
The US Treasury on Friday set sanctions on a Taiwan company and its chief executive for their ties to an effort to supply arms-related equipment to North Korea.
The Treasury named Trans Multi Mechanics Co. of Taichung, Taiwan, and CEO Tony Chang Wen-Fu for sanctions under laws aimed at freezing the assets of those designated "proliferators of weapons of mass destruction" and their supporters.
The action came days after US prosecutors unveiled charges against two other Taiwanese men, Alex Tsai Hsien-tai and his son, Tsai Yueh-hsun, for attempting to smuggle machinery that can be used to make rocket parts out of the United States to North Korea.
The Treasury said Chang and his firm had significant roles in that effort.
Chang, 48, "has been actively involved in the procurement of dual-use machinery for North Korea," the Treasury said in a statement.
"Alex Tsai has used Trans Multi Mechanics Co. Ltd. to procure and ship hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of equipment to North Korea and to negotiate contracts on behalf of North Korean parties."
Alex Tsai was recently arrested in Estonia and his son in the United States, after being on the radar of US and Taiwanese officials for several years for allegedly shipping restricted materials to North Korea. The senior Tsai is facing a US extradition request.
The sanctions ban Americans and US institutions from doing any business with Chang or his company, and freeze their US assets as well.
"It is essential that we continue to make it as difficult as possible for North Korea to facilitate its nuclear and ballistic missile programs by exposing key cogs in North Korea's procurement network," said David Cohen, treasury under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, in the statement.