US blacklists North Korean-controlled IT firms in China, Russia

US Announces New North Korea Sanctions

US Announces New North Korea Sanctions

The Trump administration blacklisted two North Korean-controlled information technology companies based in China and Russian Federation on Thursday as it pushed for progress by Kim Jong Un's government on denuclearization.

The move to designate the two entities as North Korean-controlled, announced by the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, will ban the firms and their executives from the US financial system and from doing business with US citizens.

Under a United Nations Security Council resolution adopted in December, UN member states are required to expel North Korean overseas workers within 24 months due to their contribution to the regime's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

Haley said the panel should release the original report, which cited "a massive increase in illicit ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products" for North Korea in violation of United Nations sanctions.

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

"Russia can't be allowed to edit and obstruct independent United Nations reports on North Korea sanctions just because they don't like what they say".

"This is a unsafe precedent and a stain on the important work of the panel", Haley said.

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White House officials acknowledge there's been no progress on denuclearization, even as President Donald Trump considers a second summit with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un.

The Treasury Department accused China Silver Star of having ties to the USA and UN-designated Munitions Industry Department, controlled by North Korea's ruling party.

"The full implementation of UN Security Council resolutions remains mandatory for all member states - including Russian Federation".

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

The Security Council is scheduled to meet on September 17 to discuss implementation of sanctions on North Korea at Washington's the request.

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.

"The United States will continue to fully enforce and implement sanctions until we have achieved the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea", he added.

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