The U.S. Treasury has leveled sanctions against seven companies and two individuals who were working on behalf, or have used the services, of North Korea’s government-run animation group SEK Studio. The announcements were made last Friday in symbolic recognition of International Anti-Corruption Day and Human Rights.
According to the Treasury, SEK was subcontracted by foreign companies to provide low-cost labor in North Korea and China. The companies sanctioned by the Treasury are accused of facilitating those contracts and acting as front companies for SEK to get around previous sanctions, levied in December of 2021. In a release put out last Friday, the Treasury explained the impetus for the sanctions:
Foreign entities that are involved in the use of DPRK labor enable the continued poor treatment that these workers endure, which includes constant surveillance, being forced to work long hours, and having a significant portion of their wages confiscated by the regime.
The first individual, Paris-based Kim Myong Chol, was sanctioned for collecting payments on SEK contracts from European clients. The European clients are not named in the Treasury’s release.
The second, Deepak Jadhav, is based in Singapore and was sanctioned for entering a contract with SEK to produce an animation project while providing payments to companies in several countries. Jadhav’s Linkedin profile bio reads:
Deepak, an Animation impresario & Entrepreneur, is well known in the industry for his creative brilliance. With over 20 years of experience in the Animation & Film Industries, Deepak has an intricate and multifaceted perspective of this ever-evolving industry, including its technical, creative & aesthetic aspects. Interpersonal & improvisational skills along with an astute knowledge of Animation and visual media, give Deepak an advantage over micromanaging end to end deliverables. He currently heads Funsaga PTE Ltd.
The companies sanctioned by the Treasury are Everlasting Empire Limited; Tian Fang (Hong Kong) Holding Limited; Fujian Nan’an Import and Export Corporation; Yancheng Three Line One Point Animation Co., Ltd; Quanzhou Yiyangjin Import and Export Trade Co., Ltd; Funsaga Pte Ltd.; and Kinoatis LLC.
Pictured at top: A still from SEK Studio’s Oksoe Defeats a Devil