The United States Takes Action in Response to DPRK-Russia Ballistic Missile Transfers and Testing

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The United States will continue to disrupt and expose arms transfers between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Russia.  As part of that continued effort, the Department of State is today imposing sanctions on one individual and three entities complicit in the transfer to Russia and testing of DPRK-origin ballistic missiles by Russia since late November 2023.  The Department is also identifying four aircraft owned by the U.S.-designated Command of the Military Transport Aviation (VTA) as blocked property.  All targets are being designated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024 , which authorizes sanctions with respect to specified harmful foreign activities of the Government of the Russian Federation.

Pursuant to section 1(a)(vii) the following entity is being designated for being owned or controlled by, or having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the Government of the Russian Federation:

Joint Stock Company the 224th Flight Unit State Airlines (224th Flight Unit State Airlines) is a state-owned enterprise that was spun off from Russia’s Air Force to provide commercial air cargo transport services. Additionally, we assess that two previously identified aircraft associated with Joint Stock Company the 224th Flight Unit State Airlines with tail numbers RA-78817 and RA-82030 were involved in the transfers of DPRK ballistic missiles and missile-related cargo transfers in late November 2023. The Department previously designated 224th Flight Unit State Airlines on May 19, 2023, pursuant to section 1(a)(iv)(B) for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods and services to or in support of, Private Military Company (PMC) Wagner, an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked.  At that time, we also identified several aircraft as blocked property of 224th Flight Unit State Airlines.

Pursuant to section 1(a)(iii)(C) the following individual is being designated for being or having been a leader, official, senior executive officer, or member of the board of directors of 224th Flight Unit State Airlines, an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 14024:

  • Vladimir Vladimirovich Mikheychik is the General Director of 224th Flight Unit State Airlines.

Pursuant to section 1(a)(i) the following entities are being designated for operating or having operated in the defense and related materiel sector of the Russian Federation economy:

  • Vladimirovka Advanced Weapons and Research Complex (VAWARC) is a Russian military facility involved in the testing of missiles. Additionally, the weapons-testing complex in western Russia includes facilities, airfields, and missile ranges that were involved in the transfer to Russia and testing of DPRK ballistic missiles by Russia in late 2023.
  • Ashuluk Firing Range is a Russian missile testing range.

The Department is also identifying four aircraft as blocked property of VTA.  We assess that these four aircraft with tail numbers RF-86898, RF-78757, RF-82011, and RF-82041 were involved in the transfers of DPRK ballistic missiles and missile-related cargo in November and December 2023. The Department  previously designated VTA on December 9, 2022, pursuant to section 1(a)(i) of E.O. 14024 for operating or having operated in the defense and related material sector of the Russian Federation economy and on October 18, 2023, pursuant to E.O. 13949 for engaging in activities that materially contribute to the supply, sale, or transfer, directly or indirectly, to or from Iran, or for the use in or benefit of Iran, of arms or related materiel.

Identifying information of property in which VTA has an interest and that will be blocked as a result of this action:

  • RF-86898; Aircraft Manufacture Date 28 Jan 1982; Aircraft Mode S Transponder Code 155372; Aircraft Model IL-76; Aircraft Manufacturer’s Serial Number (MSN) 23435028; Aircraft Tail Number RF-86898 (aircraft)
  • RF-78757; Aircraft Manufacture Date 27 Apr 1988; Aircraft Mode S Transponder Code 1533A5; Aircraft Model IL-76MD; Aircraft Manufacturer’s Serial Number (MSN) 83484547; Aircraft Tail Number RF-78757 (aircraft)
  • RF-82011; Aircraft Manufacture Date 31 Dec 1986; Aircraft Mode S Transponder Code 15405B; Aircraft Model AN-124; Aircraft Manufacturer’s Serial Number (MSN) 9773054616023; Aircraft Tail Number RF-82011 (aircraft)
  • RF-82041; Aircraft Manufacture Date 08 Feb 1991; Aircraft Mode S Transponder Code 154079; Aircraft Model AN-124; Aircraft Manufacturer’s Serial Number (MSN) 9773054055089; Aircraft Tail Number RF-82041 (aircraft)

Sanctions Implications

As a result of today’s action, and in accordance with E.O. 14024, all property and interests in property of the designated individual and entities described above that are in the United States or in possession or control of U.S. persons (including individuals or entities) are blocked and must be reported to the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).  Additionally, all individuals or entities that have ownership, either directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.  All transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons are prohibited unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC or exempt.  These prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any blocked person and the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

The power and integrity of U.S. government sanctions derive not only from the U.S. government’s ability to designate and add persons to the Specially Designated National (SDN) List, but also from its willingness to remove persons from the SDN List consistent with the law.  The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish, but to bring about a positive change in behavior.  Petitions for removal from the SDN List may be sent to OFAC.Reconsideration@treasury.gov.  Petitioners may also refer to OFAC’s Frequently Asked Question 897 here .



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