South Korea has imposed sanctions against Russian citizens, ships and companies because of their cooperation with North Korea

Olha Bereziuk

South Korea has imposed sanctions on two Russians and their companies involved in illegally sending North Korean IT specialists to the Russian Federation to help them earn currency for their nuclear and missile development programs.

This was reported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Korea.

In particular, the “Intellect” and “Sodeystvie” companies, as well as their managers Sergei Kozlov and Aleksandr Panfilov, were sanctioned.

Kozlov and his company are suspected of helping the DPRK earn foreign currency by providing documents for North Korean workers in the Russian Federation. The “Sodeystvie” company participated in the transportation of North Korean workers to the Russian Federation, including facilitating their entry and stay in the country.

South Korea also imposed sanctions on the Russian vessels Angara and Lady R, involved in the transportation of military cargo containers between Russia and North Korea.

In 2023, the Russian cargo ship Lady R was suspected of supplying weapons to the Russian Federation from the Republic of South Africa. The ship entered the Simonstown military base, but South African President Cyril Ramaphosa assured that it had delivered cargo for the South African army and was not carrying weapons back. The US had the opposite information.

In June 2023, the countryʼs Minister of Defense Thandi Modise admitted that the Lady R had weapons, but assured that the cargo was destined for her country — an alleged old order of 2018. Babel wrote about the Lady R and described the shipʼs route in detail.

According to the MarineTraffic vessel tracking service, Lady R is now near Vladivostok, which is just over 200 km from the North Korean port of Chongjin. It is from this port that North Korea supplies Russia with weapons in exchange for oil.

Under the new sanctions, which take effect on April 3, Russian ships will not be able to enter South Korean ports without special permission, and South Korean citizens will be prohibited from conducting financial transactions with sanctioned individuals and companies.

As Yonhap notes, the new sanctions were introduced after the UN Security Council failed to extend the mandate of the group of experts monitoring sanctions against North Korea due to Russiaʼs veto. The groupʼs mandate has been extended annually since its inception in 2009.

Observers accuse the Russian Federation of seeking to avoid UN monitoring as it seeks to deepen military ties with North Korea amid the war against Ukraine.