The US Treasury is imposing new sanctions on companies in Russia, China and Singapore for violating North Korea sanctions.
The US government’s announcement on Wednesday was part of an effort to increase economic pressure on Pyongyang.
“Treasury will continue to implement existing sanctions on North Korea, and will take action to block and designate companies, ports, and vessels that facilitate illicit shipments and provide revenue streams to the DPRK,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “The tactics that these entities based in China, Singapore, and Russia are using to attempt to evade sanctions are prohibited under US law, and all facets of the shipping industry have a responsibility to abide by them or expose themselves to serious risks,”
One individual and three shipping companies in Singapore, China and Russia were listed for the new sanctions.
China’s Dalian Sun Moon Star International Logistics Trading Co. and Singapore-based affiliate SINSMS Pte. Ltd. were accused of violating restrictions on trade with North Korea.
They reportedly facilitated exports of alcohol, tobacco and cigarette products through using fake documents.
Russia’s port service agency, Profinet Pte Ltd, and the company’s director general, Vasili Aleksandrovich Kolchanov, were also sanctioned after providing port services to DPRK-flagged vessels.
Back in July, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said that Washington is in possession of “photographs of proof of ship-to-ship transfers.”
“Now for China and Russia to block it, what are they telling us? Are they telling us that they want to continue supplying this oil? They claim they need more information. We don’t need any more information. The sanctions committee has what it needs. We all know it’s going forward,” she added.
Following a summit in Singapore in June, US President Donald Trump said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un promised to immediately end Pyongyang’s weapons programs.
Pyongyang has urged Washington to take reciprocal measures including officially declaring an end to the war and removing sanctions.