The U.S. is slapping sanctions on Chinese and Russian citizens and companies it says are supporting the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
Additionally, the U.S. is seeking millions from businesses that allegedly laundered money for Pyongyang.
CGTN’s Jessica Stone reports.
The U.S. Treasury department is blocking 10 companies and six people from using the U.S. financial system. Washington says each helped advanced Pyongyang’s illegal nuclear or ballistic missile programs.
Among those sanctioned, are:
- China’s Dandong Rich Earth Trading
- Chinese financial institution Mingzheng
- China’s Mansudae Overseas Projects Group
- Three Chinese coal companies
- Russia’s Gefest-M LLC and its director
- Three more Russian and two Singapore-based companies.
These new sanctions come just weeks after the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved new sanctions on the DPRK. On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said those measures have made a difference.
“We have had no missile launches since UNSC adoption,” Tillerson said. “I want to take note of that, acknowledge it. I’m pleased to see that regime in Pyongyang has demonstrated restraint not see in the past.”
Also announced, the U.S. Department of Justice is moving to seize more than $11 million from two Chinese companies named by the Treasury. The DOJ claimed those businesses helped Pyongyang evade sanctions by laundering their money in U.S. dollars.
Beijing is responding by saying it supports the UNSC sanctions against the DPRK, and the latest actions by the U.S. are a “mistake.”
“If there [are] any Chinese companies or individuals [who] are suspected of violating Security Council resolutions, they will be investigated and treated in accordance with China’s domestic laws and regulations,” according to a spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Washington. “We strongly urge the U.S. to immediately correct its mistake, so as not to impact bilateral cooperation on relevant issues.”
Last Monday, Beijing began implementing the UN Security Council sanctions.
Shortly afterwards, reports began to emerge of Chinese seafood traders stopped at the DPRK-China border, with those trucks not allowed to reenter China to sell their supplies.