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U.S. blacklists Myanmar military general for ties with N. Korea

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

By Lee Chi-dong

WASHINGTON, July 2 (Yonhap) -- Tightening the screws on North Korea, the Barack Obama administration imposed sanctions on a Myanmar military general Tuesday, saying he has bought weapons from Pyongyang in breach of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Lt. Gen. Thein Htay, the head of Burma's Directorate of Defense Industries (DDI), is accused of having supported the illegal trade of North Korean arms to Myanmar, according to the Treasury.

"Thein Htay has disregarded international requirements to stop purchasing military goods from North Korea, the revenues from which directly support North Korea's illicit activities," Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen said in a press release. "We will continue our efforts, alongside our international partners, to shut down North Korea's dangerous and destabilizing weapons proliferation."

U.S. citizens are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with a designated individual. And any assets that person may have subject to U.S. jurisdiction are frozen, the Treasury said.

It pointed out North Korea's arms trade provides the communist nation with an "important source of revenue to expand and enhance its proscribed nuclear and missile programs, which are a threat to international peace and security."

The latest U.S. action does not target Myanmar's reformist government, which has continued to take positive steps in severing military ties with the North, the Treasury said.

Last week, the Treasury blacklisted two North Korean entities and two individuals accused of playing a role in the reclusive country's development of weapons of mass destruction, a move seen as reflecting Washington's resolve to keep pressure on Pyongyang despite its recent peace overtures.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/yonhap-news-agency/130702/us-blacklists-myanmar-military-general-ties-n-korea