Treasury Announces Sanctions Against Chinese and Russian Companies

WASHINGTON (CN) – The U.S. Treasury Department announced new sanctions Tuesday as part of a broad effort to further isolate North Korea that take aim at Chinese and Russian entities it said support the country’s advancement of its nuclear and missile programs.

The sanctions will disrupt the ability of 10 third-country companies and six individuals to skirt United Nations sanctions.

According to the Treasury Department, the entities have supported North Korea’s ballistic and nuclear missile programs, have enabled North Korean sanctioned entities to access U.S. and global financial systems, and have dealt in North Korean energy trade and facilitated the country’s exportation of workers.

The new sanctions will freeze the assets of the new entities and will prohibit U.S. persons from dealing with them.

According to Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin, the sanctions will supplement an August 5 UN Security Council Resolution targeting North Korea over its ongoing ballistic missile tests and nuclear weapons program development.

“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,” 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,” he added.

The Treasury Department targeted the entities under a 2005 executive order that allows assets of nuclear weapons proliferators and their supporters to be frozen.

The companies targeted include the China-based Dandong Rich Earth Trading Co., Moscow-based Gefest-M LLC, and China and Hong Kong-based Mingzheng International Trading Limited, all of which Treasury says contribute directly to North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction programs.

The Treasury Department is also targeting three Chinese coal companies – Dandong Zhicheng Metallic Materials Co., JinHou International Holding Co. and Dandong Tianfu Trade Co. – that it says are involved in selling North Korean natural resources abroad.

North Korea uses the revenue from those exports to fund its missile programs, the Treasury Department says.

The new sanctions also take aim at two Singapore-based companies and three Russian individuals that provide oil to North Korea.

Several other companies and individuals were targeted for dealings with already-sanctioned companies that export North Korean workers that build statues in foreign countries, and which are tied to the department that oversees North Korea’s ballistic missile program.

Some of that income, according to the Treasury Department, was used to finance the country’s ballistic missile testing.

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