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US blacklists North Korean ambassador to Myanmar

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Washington: The US Treasury Department has blacklisted North Korea’s ambassador to Myanmar for alleged involvement in illegal weapons trade.

Treasury says Ambassador Kim Sok Chol is paid by the Korea Mining Development Trading Corp, a state-owned arms dealer and exporter of equipment related to ballistic missiles.

The US says Kim arranged a meeting between corporate officials and “Burmese defense-related persons to discuss financial matters.”

The US has been pressuring Myanmar, also called Burma, to sever defense ties with North Korea amid concerns that money Pyongyang earns from weapons sales could support its nuclear weapons program.

Today’s announcement came as the opposition party of Aung San Suu Kyi sealed a parliamentary majority in Myanmar after decades of military rule.

Treasury also blacklisted three other North Koreans and an Egypt-based North Korean company.