US Cracks Down On Chinese, Russian Firms Supporting The Kim Regime

US Cracks Down On Chinese, Russian Firms Supporting The Kim Regime

He added: "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".

Some individuals and businesses in Russian Federation and China now face new United States sanctions in connection with the North's nuclear program.

The move follows a war of words between Washington and Pyongyang over recent missile tests that show North Korea is capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.

"[The] Treasury will continue to increase pressure on North Korea by targeting those who support the advancement of nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, and isolating them from the American financial system", said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The action means American individuals and companies are no longer permitted to do business with these firms. The suits allege that the two companies participated in schemes to launder USA dollars on behalf of sanctioned North Korean entities.

The Trump administration has been trying to strengthen the economic vise on North Korea in an effort to persuade it to negotiate an end to its nuclear weapons development.

After President Trump promised "fire and fury" on North Korea, top US officials have said that military action against North Korea should only be a last resort, and getting assistance from China is seen as one of the only ways to plausibly keep up diplomatic pressure. In response, North Korea vowed retaliation "a thousand times over", and its Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho declared it would never relinquish its ballistic missile and nuclear programs.

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Here are two examples of how China and Russian Federation support North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, according to the U.S. Treasury.

They are all based in China and Russian Federation with the exception of one individual from North Korea.

The sanctions also hit an affiliate of a Pyongyang company, Mansudae Overseas Project Group, accusing the subsidiary of exporting workers to build statues in foreign countries as a revenue source for the North.

Two North Korean shipments bound for Syria's chemical arms agency were recently "intercepted", according to a new United Nations report, and the revelation comes amid continued threats from Pyongyang, including a promise of "ruthless" retaliation for U.S.

The revelation comes as North Korean diplomat Ju Yong Chol on Tuesday said the communist regime's missile program is "justifiable and a legitimate option for self-defense", Reuters reported. The Russian firm Gefest-M allegedly procured metals for a North Korean mining company with a Moscow office.

"The sanctions target a range of North Korea's illicit activities and the focus on Chinese facilitators is another message to Beijing", said Anthony Ruggiero, a Foundation for Defense of Democracies senior fellow and former U.S. Treasury official. The sanctions target three Chinese coal companies believed to have imported almost $500 million worth of North Korean coal from 2013 to 2016.