United States sanctions Chinese and Russians over North Korea support

22 August, 2017, 22:09 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • President of China Xi Jinping

In a statement today, the U.S. Treasury said the White House is imposing United States sanctions on a number of businesses and individuals in China and Russian Federation who do business with North Korea.

"[The] sanctions target third-country companies and individuals that assist already-designated persons who support North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, deal in the North Korean energy trade, facilitate its exportation of workers, and enable sanctioned North Korean entities to access the USA and worldwide financial systems", OFAC said in a news release.

The sanctions target third-country companies and individuals that assist already-designated persons who support North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, deal in the North Korean energy trade, facilitate its exportation of workers, and enable sanctioned North Korean entities to access USA and global financial systems.

"Treasury will continue to increase pressure on North Korea by targeting those who support the advancement of nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and isolating them from the American financial system", said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.

The action means American individuals and companies are no longer permitted to do business with these firms.

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This move is expected to anger Beijing, which agreed to implement sanctions in accordance with the latest United Nations resolution and is sensitive to American interference in Chinese affairs, even if US laws apply given the connection between targeted entities and the USA financial system. This time, Washington is going after the economic ties that enable North Korea to keep funding the program.

North Korea has been known to ramp up threatening rhetoric in response to the exercises and even test out its missile capabilities.

The U.S. also aims to sanction people and groups that allow North Korean entities to access the U.S. financial system or helps its exportation of workers, according to the Treasury.

As the isolated regime continues its nuclear and missile tests, the USA has sought to use economic pressure from China - Pyongyang's only major ally - to force a change in behavior.

The department also sanctioned Dandong Zhicheng's director Chi Yupeng, a Chinese national accused of moving cash for North Korean interests. The Russian firm Gefest-M allegedly procured metals for a North Korean mining company with a Moscow office. There's no focus on the efforts of Chinese banks that facilitate these transactions. The sanctions target three Chinese coal companies believed to have imported almost $500 million worth of North Korean coal from 2013 to 2016.

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