The US blacklisted a senior Myanmar army officer for his alleged involvement in arms deals with North Korea in defiance of UN sanctions.

Lieutenant General Then Htay, head of Myanmar’s Directorate of Defense Industries, purchased military equipment and material from North Korea, the US Treasury said.

His act had contributed revenue towards the regime’s nuclear and missile programs, violating a UN Security Council embargo on North Korean weapons, according to the US Treasury.

The Treasury said the sanctions blacklist does not target the Myanmar government.

“This action specifically targets Thein Htay, who is involved in the illicit trade of North Korean arms to Burma,” the Treasury said in a statement.

The Treasury noted that the government has continued to take “positive steps” to cut its military ties with North Korea.

The sanctions announced Tuesday forbid any US citizens from doing business with Thein Htay and freeze any assets he might have in the US, reports AFP.

The blacklisting came despite a thaw in bilateral relations following a landmark visit by Myanmar President Thein Sein to Washington.