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Treasury Announces New Sanctions Aimed at Deterring North Korea's WMD Programs

Treasury Announces New Sanctions Aimed at Deterring North Korea's WMD Programs

North Korea's development of nuclear weapons and missiles capable of hitting the United States has spurred deepening U.N. Security Council sanctions and stoked fears of a military conflict.

Half of the individuals are located in the Chinese cities of Dandong, Ji'an, Linjiang and Tumen near the China-North Korea border.

U.S. President Donald Trump in an interview with Reuters last week praised China for its efforts to restrict oil and coal supplies to North Korea but said Beijing could do much more to help constrain Pyongyang.

The sanctions target North Korea's Ministry of Crude Oil industry and two Chinese-based companies, as well as individuals based in Russian Federation and the Abkhazia region, the release said.

North Korea is developing missile and nuclear technology in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions amid regular threats to destroy the United States and Japan.

At the request of the United States, MSDF vessels and aircraft have been patrolling the high seas near Japan since late a year ago for possible cases of North Korean oil smuggling.

According to Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, photos taken Saturday show the Rye Song Gang 1 pulling alongside a Dominican-flagged ship, the Yuk Tang, in the middle of the night.

Already, the Treasury Department has added eight North Korean banks and more than two dozen North Korean nationals working in countries like China, Russia and Libya to its sanctions list.

The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control also targeted five North Korean shipping companies and six vessels.

The action enables the United States to block assets held by the individuals or firms in the United States and prohibits USA citizens from dealing with them.

"Treasury continues to systematically target individuals and entities financing the Kim regime and its weapons programs, including officials complicit in North Korean sanctions evasion schemes", Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said, in a reference to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

North Korea is developing missile and nuclear technology in defiance of worldwide condemnation amid regular threats to destroy the United States, Japan and South Korea.

The new sanctions signal that the Trump administration fully intends to continue the "maximum pressure" campaign even as North and South Korea hold hands for the Olympics.

The entities sanctioned included North Korea'sMinistry of Crude Oil Industry.

"Hong Kong of course is an global finance hub and at the same time it has company formation and registration rules that we think need to be stronger", said Mandelker.

Treasury named the firms as Beijing Chengxing Trading Co.



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