WASHINGTON — The United States on Tuesday issued an alert asking companies worldwide to be wary of North Korea’s efforts to acquire technologies and equipment for its ballistic missile program, warning that even forestry vehicles can be converted into mobile launchers.
“We urge the private sector to remain vigilant to efforts by North Korea to acquire missile-related technologies and equipment,” the State Department said, noting that companies could even risk violating U.S. and U.N. sanctions for assisting, even inadvertently, North Korea.
The advisory issued jointly by the state, treasury and commerce departments said North Korea relies on foreign-sourced ballistic missile-related components and uses an “extensive overseas network of procurement agents,” including officials who operate from North Korean diplomatic missions and third-country nationals.
Some goods North Korea likely imports for its ballistic missile program include heavy vehicles used in the forestry industry, which can be repurposed as transporter erector launchers, as well as steel and aluminum, according to the advisory.
Entities dealing in such goods should adopt due diligence practices that ensure North Korea and North Korean entities are not the final destination for their products, the departments said.
“The United States is committed to disrupting North Korea’s ballistic missile procurement network and promoting accountability” for entities and individuals providing support to North Korea, regardless of their location or national allegiance, they said.