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“Japan and South Korea Impose Sanctions on Entities Allegedly Supplying North Korean Weapons”

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Japan and South Korea have taken action against companies, vessels, and individuals suspected of being involved in providing North Korean weapons to Russia for use in Ukraine in violation of United Nations resolutions. These announcements were made just before the upcoming trilateral summit between the leaders of South Korea, Japan, and China.

Japan’s top government spokesperson, Yoshimasa Hayashi, strongly condemned the alleged deals, emphasizing that Tokyo and its allies have frozen the assets of 11 groups and one individual involved in the Russia-North Korea military assistance. According to reports, nine of the groups and the individual were based in Russia, while two organizations in Cyprus were allegedly involved in transporting weapons from North Korea.

The US Treasury Department had previously imposed similar sanctions, pointing out that Russia was turning to its allies, including Pyongyang, for support as it faced challenges in Ukraine. Russia has been engaged in a conflict with Ukraine since 2014 and launched a full-scale invasion in 2022.

In addition to Japan, South Korea also imposed its own sanctions on two Russian vessels and seven North Koreans for various activities, including alleged trading of military supplies between Moscow and Pyongyang. Pyongyang denied the allegations, stating that it had no intention to export military-technical capabilities to any country. However, North Korea has strengthened its ties with Moscow, as evidenced by Russia’s support in the UN Security Council and recent developments.

South Korea’s sanctions targeted individuals allegedly involved in facilitating arms deals with a member of Russia’s Wagner Group, as well as individuals engaged in transporting critical materials for North Korea’s nuclear and missile development programs. Russia had previously criticized South Korea’s sanctions on Russian individuals and entities, describing them as an “unfriendly move” and indicating that it would respond accordingly.

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