Asia Metal rejects US accusations of N Korean arms dealing

Asia Metal rejects US accusations of N Korean arms dealing

Asia Metal Co Ltd has rejected accusations by the US government that it has been involved in arms deals with North Korea.

The US Treasury Department earlier this week added three Burmese firms – Asia Metal Co Ltd, Soe Min Htike Co Ltd and Excellence Mineral Manufacturing Co Ltd – and a military official, Lt-Col Kyaw Nyunt Oo, to its sanctions list, saying that those in question had assisted the Burmese government in importing materials from North Korea for weapons manufacturing.

The US accuses Asia Metal of constructing buildings and supplying construction materials at a Directorate of Defence Industries (DDI) compound where approximately 30 North Koreans were working. The DDI is alleged to have purchased military equipment and materials from North Korea.

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But Asia Metal’s general manager Htein Linn told DVB that the company has never purchased any kind of material for the DDI.

“We did not buy materials for the DDI,” he said, “but being a construction company, we constructed some buildings for them around 2008-10 – though we were not told what the buildings were to be used for.

“We were surprised to hear about this blacklisting,” said Htein Linn.

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