Obama expands sanctions against North Korea

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
August 30, 2010 23:59

 
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WASHINGTON — The Obama administration expanded sanctions against North Korea on Monday by freezing assets of individuals, companies and organizations allegedly linked to support for Pyongyang's nuclear program.

Targeted entities included one variously known as Office 39 or Bureau 39, believed to direct a range of illicit activities in support of the North Korean nuclear program.

In a report this year, the US Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute said Office 39 is involved in the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs, the counterfeiting of U.S. currency, and the manufacture and distribution of counterfeit cigarettes.

"The crimes organized by Office 39 are committed beyond the borders of North Korea by the regime itself, not solely for the personal enrichment of the leadership, but to prop up its armed forces and to fund its military programs," the institute's report said.

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