Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

USA imposes North Korea-related sanctions on Russian, Chinese firms

USA imposes North Korea-related sanctions on Russian, Chinese firms

The reach of USA sanctions on North Korea has now extended to two more entities, one Russian and one Chinese firm, amid frustration from the Trump administration that Beijing and Moscow are relaxing their support for a pressure campaign to push Pyongyang to denuclearize.

She accused the United Nations panel of "caving to Russian pressure" and making changes to its report.

The Treasury announcement said that North Korea sells a range of IT services and products overseas, including website and app development, security software, and biometric identification software that have military and law enforcement applications.

Sister technology firms, Jilin-based China Silver Star and Vladivostok-based Volasys Silver Star, were Chinese and Russian in name only and acted as front companies for North Koreans, the US Treasury Department alleged in a press release on Thursday.

"These actions are meant to stop the flow of illicit revenue to North Korea from overseas information technology workers disguising their true identities and hiding behind front companies, aliases, and third-party nationals", said Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in an official statement.

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.

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The U.S. Treasury says China Silver Star is linked to the North Korean ruling party's Munitions Industry Department, . which it says is responsible for overseeing the regime's ballistic missile program.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the "actions are meant to stop the flow of illicit revenue to North Korea from overseas information technology workers disguising their true identities and hiding behind front companies, aliases, and third-party nationals".

Diplomats said Russian Federation pressured the independent sanctions monitors to amend the report.

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

By blocking since early August release of the original document, Russia explained that the report relied mainly on American information and did not take into account a Russian analysis of the application of sanctions.

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