The United States said it has imposed sanctions on a North Korean company for spreading missile technology.
For two years, the Korea Mining and Development Corporation will be denied US government contracts and prohibited from importing products into the US, according to a posting Wednesday in the US Federal Register.
State Department spokesman Tom Casey said the timing of the sanctions had nothing to do with this week's six-nation North Korean nuclear disarmament negotiations. He said the company had been previously sanctioned by the US.
"It's an indication once again of the serious concerns that exist about behavior by North Korean entities with respect to these kinds of technology transfers," Casey said.
Officials provided no specific details about the alleged missile transfers. But Casey told reporters that Syria was not involved. News reports have said that Israeli warplanes this month attacked a Syrian installation that was allegedly either a Syrian-North Korean nuclear project or a shipment of arms for Hizbullah guerrillas in Lebanon. North Korea has denied any nuclear link with Syria.