On December 8, 2020, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated six entities and identified four vessels for their involvement in the transport and export of North Korean coal, in violation of the UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2371. Five of the entities, based in China, Hong-Kong and Vietnam, were sanctioned under Executive Order 13810, for operating in the North Korea’s transportation industry. The remaining entity operated inside of North Korea, and was designated pursuant to EO 13687, for being an agency under the control of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), and EO 13722 for transferring coal to or from North Korea with revenues that may have benefited the Government of North Korea or WPK. All four vessels were identified as blocked property under EO 13810, for directly collecting coal from North Korean ports and transporting it throughout the region for several years.
As a result of these sanctions, all US property belonging to these entities is blocked, and all transactions in the US are generally prohibited. Furthermore, any person who transacts with any designated entity or identified vessel may themselves be designated, and any foreign financial institution that provides services for any designated entity, may be subject to secondary sanctions.