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South Korea sanctions Russian organizations, individuals over cooperation with Pyongyang

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 2, 2024 12:28 PM 2 min read
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sept. 13, 2023. (Photo by Contributor/Getty Images)
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South Korea has imposed new sanctions against two Russian organizations, two individuals, and two ships over cooperation with North Korea, the South Korean Foreign Ministry reported on April 2.

North Korea has been shaping up as Russia's leading weapons supplier, reportedly providing Moscow with extensive military packages, including ballistic missiles and over 3 million artillery shells.

There have also been concerns about what Russia may be providing North Korea in return for the shipments of military hardware and ammunition. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has warned that Russia has been assisting North Korea in upgrading its military capabilities, potentially including ballistic missiles and nuclear technology.

The latest South Korean sanctions target two Russian ships involved in transporting military supplies to North Korea, according to the ministry’s statement.

Two Russian organizations and two individuals representing each organization were also reportedly sanctioned for involvement in "financing North Korea's nuclear and missile development" by sending North Korean workers to Russia.

Russia, China and North Korea have new dynamics. And it’s bad for Ukraine
The White House announced on Oct. 13 that North Korea had delivered more than 1,000 containers of military equipment and ammunition to bolster Russia’s war against Ukraine. Washington published pictures tracking a set of containers as it traveled from Najin, North Korea, to Dunay, Russia, by a Russ…

"Military cooperation, including the Russia-North Korea arms trade, is a clear violation of Security Council resolutions and an act that seriously threatens peace and stability not only on the Korean Peninsula but around the world," reads the statement.

"The government and the international community have continuously urged Russia and North Korea to immediately stop military cooperation."

The U.S. and South Korea announced jointly coordinated sanctions on March 27 against six individuals and two entities involved in financing North Korea's weapons of mass destruction program. Two of the individuals named are North Korean nationals based in Russia.

Unnamed sources in Western intelligence told the New York Times in February 2024 that Russia has likely helped North Korea unblock frozen funds and otherwise worked to connect the country with international financial institutions it has long been shut out of.

The Financial Times and other media outlets have reported that Russia may be defying sanctions to supply North Korea with oil, possibly in exchange for military equipment.

US, South Korea launch task force to combat illegal shipment of oil to North Korea
The two countries also said they were increasingly concerned that Russia has been providing refined oil to North Korea.
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5:35 PM

Latvian schools to stop teaching Russian as foreign language.

Children in Latvia will no longer learn Russian as a foreign language in schools from 2026, but instead will be required to learn a language of the European Union or the European Economic Area, Latvia's Education Ministry announced on April 23.
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