U.S. adds Myanmar ministries, army conglomerates to trade blacklist

WASHINGTON — The United States on Thursday unveiled new penalties to punish Myanmar’s army for its Feb. 1 coup, adding the country’s ministries of defense and home affairs and its top military conglomerates to a trade blacklist.

Washington has also subjected Myanmar to ‘military end use’ export control restrictions, requiring its U.S. suppliers to seek difficult-to-obtain U.S. licenses to ship it certain items.

The actions come in response to the escalating crackdown and violence in Myanmar, where people took to the streets protesting against the military takeover that overthrew country’s elected officials including de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who had won a national election in November.

Police broke up demonstrations with tear gas and gunfire in several cities across the country. The United Nations said that at least 54 people have been killed since the coup. More than 1,700 people had been arrested, including 29 journalists.

“We will not allow the Burmese military to continue to benefit from access to items subject to the Export Administration Regulations,” the Commerce Department said in a statement, adding that it was reviewing further potential action. (Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Karen Freifeld, Alexandra Alper and David Shepardson; Editing by Leslie Adler and Alistair Bell)

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