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U.S. Imposes Sanctions On Russian, Chinese Firms Over North Korea Trade

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (file photo)

The United States has imposed sanctions on three foreign companies it says are helping North Korea with illicit shipments of goods to fund its nuclear program.

The Treasury Department said on August 15 that it was taking action against the shipping companies, which are based in China, Singapore, and Russia, as well as the head of the Russian firm.

The action blocks any assets that the companies may have in U.S. jurisdictions and bans U.S. citizens and residents from doing business with them.

Despite having opened direct talks with Pyongyang, Washington continues to press for full compliance with existing international sanctions against North Korea to put pressure on the country to end its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program.

"Consequences for violating these sanctions will remain in place until we have achieved the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

The Treasury blacklisted Russia-based Profinet Pte. for violating UN sanctions by providing port services like loading and refueling to sanctioned North Korean-flagged ships at three eastern Russia ports.

It also said Profinet director general Vasiliy Aleksandrovich Kolchanov "was personally involved" in deals with the North Koreans.

The Treasury accused China-based Dalian Sun Moon Star International Logistics Trading Co and its Singapore-based affiliate, SINSMS Pte., of falsifying documents to facilitate shipments of alcohol and cigarettes to North Korea.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, dpa