(LEAD) S. Korea slaps sanctions on Russian vessels, others linked to N.K.’s arms transfer, illegal dispatch of workers

SEOUL, South Korea on Tuesday imposed sanctions on two Russian individuals and their companies involved in the illegal sending of North Korean IT workers overseas to help them earn hard currency for Pyongyang's weapons development. South Korea also slapped sanctions on two Russian vessels, namely Lady R and Angara, involved in shipping containers of military supplies between Moscow and Pyongyang, according to the foreign ministry. The sanctions will take effect Wednesday. "The military cooperation between North Korea and Russia, including their arms trade, is a clear violation of U.N. Security Council (UNSC) resolutions that seriously threaten peace and stability beyond the Korean Peninsula and around the world, and our government and the international community have continuously urged North Korea and Russia to immediately stop military cooperation," the ministry said in a press release. The two individuals are Sergey Mikhaylovich Kozlov, head of Intellekt LLC, and Aleksandr Fyodorovich Panfilov, head of Sodeistvie. Their respective companies were also placed under sanctions. Kozlov and his company are suspected of helping the North's State Academy of Defense Sciences earn foreign currency by providing documents of identification necessary for North Korean workers in Russia. Sodeistvie and his company were involved in illegally assisting North Korean workers' entry and stay in Russia, according to the ministry. The latest sanctions came after the UNSC failed to extend the mandate of the Panel of Experts monitoring sanctions on North Korea by another year due to Russia's veto. The panel's mandate had been extended annually since it was launched in 2009. Observers accuse Moscow of seeking to avoid U.N. monitoring as it looks to deepen military ties with North Korea amid its ongoing war in Ukraine. The panel has served as a key institutional platform to oversee sanctions on the North, disclosing a series of its violations, including those on Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs and other prohibited acti vities. Source: Yonhap News Agency