US Designates Facilitator Pursuing DPRK Arms Deal

Department of State

Today, the United States is designating Ashot Mkrtychev for arms-related activities involving the DPRK and Russia. This is the first designation in the DPRK sanctions program in response to Russia's attempt to secure weapons from the DPRK.

Mkrtychev worked with DPRK officials in an attempt to obtain more than two dozen different kinds of weapons and munitions for Russia in exchange for materials ranging from commercial aircraft to raw materials and commodities to be sent to the DPRK. He also confirmed Russia's readiness to receive military equipment from the DPRK with senior Russian officials.

Today's action is a clear message that the United States will not relent in targeting those who provide support to Russia's aggression and brutal war against Ukraine. We will continue to identify, expose, and counter Russian attempts to acquire military equipment from the DPRK or any other state that is prepared to support its war in Ukraine. This action is part of our ongoing efforts to undermine Russia's ability to wage war, weaken its military-industrial complex, and deny the DPRK revenue it can utilize to further develop its UN-prohibited WMD and ballistic missile programs.

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