The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a country in East Asia, located in the northern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering South Korea and China. Its capital, Pyongyang, is the country's largest city by both land area and population. It is a single-party state led by the Korean Workers' Party (KWP), and governed by Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un since 2012. It has a population of 24,052,231 (UN-assisted DPRK census 2008) made up of Koreans and a smaller Chinese minority. Japan 'opened' Korea in 1876 and annexed it in 1910. The Republic of Korea (ROK) was founded with US support in the south in August 1948 and the Soviet-backed Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the north in September that year.
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.