US announces fresh sanctions over NK nuclear program

Steven Mnuchin  Flickr

Steven Mnuchin Flickr

The designations are the latest effort by the Donald Trump administration to ramp up pressure on Pyongyang to fully and completely denuclearize.

Meanwhile, South Korea's foreign ministry said that the latest United States sanctions appear to reflect Washington's belief that both sanctions and dialogue are important in achieving the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

United Nations diplomats familiar with discussions said Russian Federation was angered that the panel used a lot of USA intelligence in the initial report that Moscow claimed was incorrect.

Sources at that time also said Russia blocked a USA request that two Russian shipping companies and six of their vessels be sanctioned over oil shipments to the North.

The US in July had demanded without success an end to all oil exports to North Korea, citing satellite photographs and expert reports to claim illegal ship-to-ship transfers had allowed Pyongyang to evade sanctions over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

"Treasury is once again warning the IT industry, businesses, and individuals across the globe to take precautions to ensure that they are not unwittingly employing North Korean workers for technology projects", he said, noting that the U.S. will continue to enforce sanctions until the "final, fully verified denuclearization" of North Korea.

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

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Russian Federation and China have pushed for the Security Council to ease sanctions on Pyongyang after the summit in June between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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.

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

Haley said Russian interference "sets an unacceptable precedent that damages the sanctity of the United Nations independent panel reporting process".

The United States is imposing sanctions on two North Korean-controlled information technology companies based in China and Russian Federation.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the sanctions were meant to stop the flow of illicit revenue to North Korea from overseas IT workers hiding behind front companies and aliases.

"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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