Sanctions Target NKorea,China Companies11/22 06:15
The Trump administration imposed new sanctions on a slew of North Korean
shipping firms and Chinese trading companies in its latest push to isolate the
rogue nation over its nuclear weapons development and deprive it of revenue.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Trump administration imposed new sanctions on a slew
of North Korean shipping firms and Chinese trading companies in its latest push
to isolate the rogue nation over its nuclear weapons development and deprive it
The Treasury Department also designated a North Korean corporation involved
in exporting workers overseas. The action Tuesday came a day after the United
States returned North Korea to its list of state sponsors of terrorism.
"These designations include companies that have engaged in trade with North
Korea cumulatively worth hundreds of millions of dollars," Treasury Secretary
Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. "We are also sanctioning the shipping and
transportation companies, and their vessels, that facilitate North Korea's
trade and its deceptive maneuvers."
Among those targeted were four Chinese-based companies and one Chinese
individual said to have deep commercial ties with North Korea. The sanctions
were imposed under a September executive order that opened the way for the U.S.
to punish foreign companies dealing with the North. It bars those sanctioned
from holding U.S. assets or doing business with Americans.
The Dandong Kehua Economy & Trade Co. Ltd., Dandong Xianghe Trading Co.
Ltd., and Dandong Hongda Trade Co. Ltd. are alleged to have exported about $650
million worth of goods to North Korea and imported more than $100 million from
North Korea since 2013. The goods included notebook computers, anthracite coal,
iron and other commodities and ferrous products.
Also sanctioned were Chinese national Sun Sidong and his company, Dandong
Dongyuan Industrial Co., said to have exported more than $28 million worth of
goods to the North.
The targeting of Chinese companies is a sore point with Beijing, whose help
President Donald Trump is counting on to put an economic squeeze on Pyongyang.
China recently sent its highest-level envoy to North Korea in two years to
discuss the tense state of affairs on the Korean Peninsula.
"China firmly opposes unilateral sanctions out of the U.N. Security Council
framework," the Chinese Embassy in Washington said Tuesday, "especially the
imposition of the so-called 'long-arm jurisdiction' by other countries in
accordance with their domestic laws."
As part of its effort to stymie North Korean transportation networks, the
Treasury Department sanctioned North Korea's Maritime Administration and its
transport ministry, six North Korean shipping and trading companies and 20 of
their vessels, which are all North Korean-flagged.
It accused North Korea of deceptive shipping practices, including
ship-to-ship transfers, which is prohibited under U.N. sanctions that have been
imposed in response to Pyongyang's rapid tempo of nuclear and ballistic missile
tests. The Treasury statement included aerial photos of what it said was Korea
Kumbyol Trading Company's vessel Rye Song Gang 1 possibly transferring oil to
evade sanctions that have restricted fuel exports to the North.
Also sanctioned was the Korea South-South Cooperation Corporation, said to
have exported North Korean workers to China, Russia, Cambodia and Poland to
generate revenue for the government.
When President Donald Trump announced the terror designation of North Korea
on Monday, he promised to intensify the "maximum pressure" campaign against
Pyongyang with the "highest level" of sanctions yet --- part of a rolling
effort to compel it to negotiate over its nuclear program, which poses an
emerged threat to the U.S. mainland.
An editorial Tuesday in North Korea's ruling party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun,
called Trump a "heinous criminal" who had insulted the dignity of the country's
supreme leadership and its socialist system during his recent visit to South
Korea. The editorial, carried by the state-run news agency, threatened
"merciless punishment." It did not mention the terror designation or the threat
of new sanctions.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson acknowledged Monday a two-month pause in
the North's nuclear and missile tests and said there was still hope for
diplomacy. With tougher sanctions in the offing, he warned North Korean leader
Kim Jong Un: "This is only going to get worse until you're ready to come and
The terror designation, however, is likely to exacerbate sour relations
between Washington and Pyongyang that have turned uglier with name-calling
between Trump and Kim. North Korea shows no interest in talks aimed at getting
it to give up its nukes.
North Korea has joined Iran, Sudan and Syria on America's terror blacklist,
a position it has occupied on and off over the years. It was designated for two
decades because of its involvement in international terror attacks in the
1980s, then taken off in 2008 to smooth the way for nuclear talks that soon