Thursday, 22 November, 2018

US Sanctions Russian, Chinese Tech Firms over Funds for N Korea

Steven Mnuchin  Flickr Steven Mnuchin Flickr
Patty Aguilar | 16 September, 2018, 00:32

This followed news that the U.S. sanctioned a Chinese technology firm and its Russian sister company following allegations both were being operated by North Korea and therefore providing revenue to Pyongyang.

A North Korean national, Song Hwa Jong, was also sanctioned, it said. This article is strictly for informational purposes only.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley expressed disappointment in the panel monitoring sanctions against North Korea "for caving to Russian pressure and making changes to what should have been an independent report".

It also said Pyongyang continues to defy global sanctions through a "massive increase" in illicit ship-to-ship transfers of refined petroleum products. South Korea, a close USA ally, said in February that it would procure new patrol aircraft to cope with the emerging threat of North Korean submarine-launched missiles.

Treasury says that China Silver Star is associated with the Munitions Industry Department of North Korea's ruling party which oversees the nation's ballistic missile programs.

"Russia can't be allowed to edit and obstruct independent United Nations reports on North Korea sanctions just because they don't like what they say", Haley said.

Kim at the summit pledged to work toward denuclearization, although US and other officials have said the North has made little progress to the stated goal.

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The Security Council has remained united in imposing tougher and tougher sanctions on North Korea, but the differences over the experts' report mark a first dent in that unity.

"The full implementation of UN Security Council resolutions remains mandatory for all member states - including Russian Federation".

By blocking since early August release of the original document, Russia explained that the report relied mainly on American information and did not take into account a Russian analysis of the application of sanctions.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one diplomat said the amended report removed some references to Russians accused of breaching North Korea sanctions. "Period", Haley said in a statement.

The Russian news agency TASS quoted Russia's U.N. Mission as saying the proposed sanctions were "unjustified".

Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said: "These actions are meant to stop the flow of illicit revenue to North Korea from overseas information technology workers disguising their true identities and hiding behind front companies, aliases, and third-party nationals".

The sanctions come at a time when the U.S. is maintaining pressure on the North Korean government in its negotiations to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

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