Published: Sun, September 16, 2018

Treasury targets North Korean-run IT companies with financial sanctions

Treasury targets North Korean-run IT companies with financial sanctions

An individual from North Korea and a Chinese company are also hit by sanctions.

The United States on Thursday criticized Russian Federation for interfering with the process of publishing a U.N. report on North Korea sanctions that was due last week.

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.

The US implemented sanctions to put mounting pressure on North Korea to scrap its nuclear weapons programme.

"These actions are meant to stop the flow of illicit revenue to North Korea from overseas information technology workers disguising their true identities and hiding behind front companies, aliases, and third-party nationals", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

Washington has also accused Russian Federation of violating United Nations sanctions on North Korea by granting work permits to North Korean laborers despite Russia's denial of any such actions.

The strictest regime of sanctions is now in effect against North Korea, providing for financial sanctions, the ban on supplies of rocket fuel and dual-purpose equipment and materials, and exports of coal, iron, lead and other products from the country.

A draft United Nations experts' report, which was seen by Kyodo News in early August, pointed out that North Korea has continued with its nuclear programs in breach of United Nations bans.

Haley and other diplomats claim that Russian Federation pressured the independent monitors to amend the report.

Russian Federation argued the report filed to take into consideration Moscow's own analysis of the sanctions and that it had relied too heavily on intelligence from the US.

White House officials have acknowledged that there has been no progress on denuclearization, even as President Donald Trump considers a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Ms Haley also demanded the bench release the original report, which she claimed Russian Federation off-loaded oil in North Korea on a ship-to-ship transfer basis.

The Security Council has remained united in imposing tougher and tougher sanctions on North Korea, but the differences over the experts' report mark a first dent in that unity. "Period", Haley said in a statement.

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