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North Korea has been under UN sanctions since 2006 over its ballistic missile and nuclear programs. Photo: Reuters
North Korea has been under UN sanctions since 2006 over its ballistic missile and nuclear programs. Photo: Reuters

US targets China, Russia entities, individuals for North Korea support

The US is imposing sanctions on Chinese, Russian companies and individuals for supporting North Korean nuclear weapons programs

Washington: The United States is imposing sanctions on Chinese and Russian companies and individuals for supporting North Korean weapons programs, including those dealing in Pyongyang’s energy trade and helping North Korean entities gain access to the US and international finance system, officials said on Tuesday.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control designated 10 “third-country" entities, including six Chinese-owned, one Russian, one North Korean and two based in Singapore. They include one Namibia-based subsidiary of a Chinese company and a North Korean entity operating in Namibia. The six individuals include four Russians, one Chinese and one North Korean, according to a treasury department statement.

The new designations complement United Nations sanctions imposed this month in response to five North Korean nuclear weapons tests and four long-range missile launches. North Korea has been under UN sanctions since 2006 over its ballistic missile and nuclear programs.

The treasury department said the sanctions targeted those helping already-designated individuals who support North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, deal in Pyongyang’s energy trade, help North Korea send workers abroad and enable sanctioned North Korea entities to access the US and international financial system.

“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," treasury secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said in a statement.

“It is unacceptable for individuals and companies in China, Russia, and elsewhere to enable North Korea to generate income used to develop weapons of mass destruction and destabilize the region," Mnuchin said.

The UN Security Council on 5 August unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea that could slash the Asian state’s $3 billion annual export revenue by one-third.

The US-drafted resolution banned North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood. It also prohibits countries from increasing the current numbers of North Korean labourers working abroad, bans new joint ventures with North Korea and any new investment in current joint ventures. Reuters

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