Trump Administration Unveils Sanctions To Curb North Korea's Weapons Program

Posted August 25, 2017

Commenting further, Ryabkov said that "the scope of sanctions already endorsed by the U.N. Security Council is such that any possibilities of expanding such measures have been exhausted".

North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests and dozens of missile tests since the beginning of past year, significantly raising tension on the heavily militarized Korean peninsula and in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions. The Treasury Department says North Korea generates about a billion dollars a year from coal exports and singled out three Chinese companies, which it says imported nearly half a billion dollars in North Korean coal between 2013 and 2016.

"We must continue to isolate the regime, cut off its economic activity and pressure nations, particularly China and Russian Federation, whose companies and citizens help the North generate the resources used to further its aggressive nuclear programme", said Congressman Dan Donovan who serves on the House Committee on Homeland Security and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

On Tuesday, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on 16 mainly Chinese and Russian companies and people for assisting North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs and helping it to make money to support those programs.

Also targeted is China's Dandong Rich Earth Trading Co.

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Sanctions also covered Chinese, Singaporean and Namibian companies and a citizen of China.

"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 US Treasury official.

Meanwhile, China has urged the USA to "immediately correct its mistake" of sanctioning Chinese firms over North Korea. "In addition, these Chinese networks likely have additional front companies operating on behalf of the network and those were not sanctioned".

Other businesses and individuals named Tuesday are involved in the energy industry - including North Korea's imports of coal and oil, as well as labor exports, the statement said.

"The fact that they've not yet moved forward with any big bank effort suggests to me that they're quite nervous about the risks of blow-back and reasonably so", he added.