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U.S. sanctions NKorean IT companies in China, Russia

16 September 2018

The Treasury Department on Thursday imposed financial penalties on two information technology companies and one Chinese national with ties to North Korea for allegedly violating USA sanctions.

A North Korean national, Song Hwa-jong, was also sanctioned, Reuters reported, citing the statement. This article is strictly for informational purposes only.

The reach of U.S. 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.

Haley said Russian interference "sets an unacceptable precedent that damages the sanctity of the United Nations independent panel reporting process".

South Korea's foreign ministry says it sees the move as reflecting Washington's stance that sanctions must be enforced alongside dialogue in order to achieve the Peninsula's complete denuclearization.

Russian Federation at the end of August had blocked publication of the report on the implementation of sanctions against North Korea because it disagreed with findings that Pyongyang had exceeded a 2018 import cap for oil set by the sanctions imposed a year ago, a diplomatic source said last month.

Kim at the summit pledged to work toward denuclearization, although USA and other officials have said the North has made little progress to the stated goal. "Period", Haley said in a statement.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one diplomat said the amended report removed some references to Russians accused of breaching North Korea sanctions. The Security Council has to agree by consensus on whether to publish the report and the United States objected to releasing the amended document. "The full implementation of U.N. Security Council resolutions remains mandatory for all member states - including Russian Federation".

Russia's United Nations mission and the head of the sanctions monitor panel did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Meanwhile, South Korea's foreign ministry said that the latest United States sanctions appear to reflect Washington's belief that both sanctions and dialogue are important in achieving the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The department claims the companies are fronts for the North Korean government.

Although virtually all North Koreans lack access to the internet, the US says that IT is not only a source of revenue for its authoritarian government but used by the North for theft and intimidation.

U.S. sanctions NKorean IT companies in China, Russia