US Sanctions Chinese, North Korean Organizations Over Illicit Trade

The United States on Tuesday slapped sanctions on 13 Chinese and North Korean organizations accused of helping evade nuclear and trade restrictions against Pyongyang, the Treasury Department announced.

Today's sanctions target third-country persons with long-standing commercial ties to North Korea, as well as the transportation networks that facilitate North Korea's revenue generation and operations, said the U.S. Treasury in a statement on its website.

The new sanctions, which underscore the Donald Trump administration renewed focus on trade between China and North Korea, came a day after Washington had redesignated North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism, reversing a 2008 decision aimed at facilitating nuclear talks.

"As North Korea continues to threaten international peace and security, we are steadfast in our determination to maximize economic pressure to isolate it from outside sources of trade and revenue while exposing its evasive tactics," said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.

"These designations include companies that have engaged in trade with North Korea cumulatively worth hundreds of millions of dollars. We are also sanctioning the shipping and transportation companies, and their vessels, that facilitate North Korea's trade and its deceptive maneuvers."

Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned one individual, 13 entities, and 20 vessels, the statement said.

Included on the blacklist are three Chinese companies, Dandong Kehua Economy & Trade Co., Dandong Xianghe Trading Co., and Dandong Hongda Trade Co., which the Treasury Department said have done more than $750 million in trade with North Korea.

Also hit by sanctions was Chinese national Sun Sidong and his company, Dandong Dongyuan Industrial Co., said to have sold more than $28 million worth of goods to North Korea.

The new sanctions also hit the Korea South-South Cooperation Corporation, which is involved in exporting North Korean workers to China, Russia, Cambodia and Poland to raise hard cash for the Kim Jong Un regime.

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