The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated 16 parties as Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) today, effectively seizing their assets in the United States, blocking them from doing business with U.S. parties, and denying them access to the U.S. financial system. The designations mark the latest escalation of sanctions on North Korea and an increasing willingness to target Chinese and Russian parties for violating UN and U.S. sanctions on the country.

The firms and individuals involved were targeted because they were involved in the development of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, the North Korean energy sector, the export of North Korean laborers, and enabling North Korean entities to access the global financial system.