Saturday, 19 October, 2019

U.S. hits Chinese and Russian firms over N.Korea sanctions breach

Chip Somodevilla  Getty Images Chip Somodevilla Getty Images
Patty Aguilar | 17 August, 2018, 20:00

The sanctions, relayed Wednesday in Washington by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, are against organizations based in China, Singapore and Russia and one Russian national.

The Treasury said China-based Dalian Sun Moon Star International Logistics Trading and its Singapore-based affiliate, SINSMS, used falsified shipping documents to facilitate illicit shipments of alcohol, tobacco and cigarette-related products to North Korea.

The actions banned exports of North Korean raw commodities and capped the regime's imports of oil in a bid to stop the flow of revenue and resources needed to develop the nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

The sanctions mandate that no US citizen can deal with any of those designated in the order, and any of their properties in the United States "must be blocked", Treasury said.

It also blacklisted Russia-based Profinet Pte. for violating United Nations sanctions by providing loading and refueling services to sanctioned North Korean-flagged ships at three eastern Russian Federation ports.

When asked for comment, Liang Ye, a legal representative of Dalian Sun Moon Star International Logistics Trading, said the matter was still unclear and that the Chinese company had not received any notification.

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The new penalties slapped by United States president Donald Trump administration are an attempt to further pressurise North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons programme and to receive economic aid in exchange, as part of the commitment made by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who promised to work for the "complete denuclearisation" of the Korean Peninsula, according to the report.

Such commentaries are not statements or official positions, but can be read as a reflection of government thinking.

Previous year the U.N. Security Council passed a series of resolutions sanctioning the North for its sixth test of a nuclear weapon and multiple tests of ballistic missiles capable of reaching the U.S.

Moscow is working on retaliatory measures against Washington after it imposed sanctions on a Russian company for allegedly aiding North Korea, according to Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.

It also said the company's director-general, Vasily Kolchanov, "was personally involved" in deals with the North Koreans. "As an agent, I only need to check that they have permission from customs".

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