United States says Russian Federation hid North Korea sanctions breaches, slaps new sanctions

Steven Mnuchin  Flickr

Steven Mnuchin Flickr

The US announced new sanctions against North Korea on Thursday, taking aim at a Chinese company, its North Korean CEO and its Russia-based sister company.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin (mih-NOO'-shin) says in a statement that the sanctions are meant to stop the flow of illicit revenue to North Korea from overseas IT workers hiding behind front companies and aliases. This article is strictly for informational purposes only.

Russian Federation "obtained the removal of the main part of the paragraphs" concerning it, a diplomat said, speaking anonymously.

Amid such reporting, President Trump has suggested repeatedly, in interviews and via twitter, that China has been relaxing its enforcement of sanctions enacted before his summit with Kim.

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The Trump administration has sought to ramp up pressure on Kim to strike a deal to halt North Korea's nuclear program in part by penalizing Chinese and Russian firms that the increasingly isolated country depends on to keep its economy afloat.

United Nations diplomats familiar with discussions said Russian Federation was angered that the panel used a lot of USA intelligence in the initial report that Moscow claimed was incorrect.

The Treasury Department alleges that China Silver Star and Volasys Silver Star are run and staffed by North Korean executives and employees, with revenue going to the North Korean regime.

Meanwhile, South Korea's foreign ministry said that the latest U.S. sanctions appear to reflect Washington's belief that both sanctions and dialogue are important in achieving the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The Security Council has to agree by consensus on whether to publish the report and the United States objected to releasing the amended document.

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The amended report removed some references to Russians accused of breaching sanctions on North Korea, said one diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Russian mission to the United Nations and the chair of the independent panel of U.N. sanctions monitors did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

"Treasury is once again warning the IT industry, businesses, and individuals across the globe to take precautions to ensure that they are not unwittingly employing North Korean workers for technology projects by doing business with companies like the ones designated today", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was quoted as saying in the press release.

September 6, the US Treasury imposed sanctions against North Korean companies and citizens of the DPRK for conducting cyber attacks.

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