US sanctions Taiwanese firm over North Korea shipments
Sanctions set after US says deals aid weapons of mass destruction proliferators
The US Treasury yesterday 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 of Taichung, Taiwan, and chief executive Tony Chang Wen-Fu as having sanctions imposed 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 could be used to make rocket parts out of the United States to North Korea.
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," it added.
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 elder Tsai is facing a US extradition request.
The sanctions ban Americans and US institutions from doing any business with Chang or his company, and also freezes their US assets.