US imposes North Korea-related sanctions on Russian, Chinese firms

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Thursday, September 13, the USA imposed new sanctions against the DPRK, under the restrictions were Russian and Chinese firms of cooperating with the North Korean regime.

"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 by doing business with companies like the ones designated today", Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a statement.

After the initial experts' report was released, Russian Federation and China blocked the United Nations from imposing sanctions on Russia-based entities and vessels sanctioned a week earlier by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Russian Federation at the end of August had blocked publication of the report on the implementation of sanctions against North Korea because it disagreed with findings that Pyongyang had exceeded a 2018 import cap for oil set by the sanctions imposed previous year, a diplomatic source said last month.

"These actions are meant to stop the flow of illicit revenue to North Korea from overseas information technology workers disguising their true identities and hiding behind front companies, aliases, and third-party nationals", said Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in an official statement.

The Treasury also said the China-based company was linked to the North Korean government's defense research and ballistic missile programs.

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According to an anonymous United Nations diplomat, the Russia "obtained the removal of the main part of the paragraphs", referring to the panel's original report that had named the Russian ships and entities accused of breaking USA sanctions.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one diplomat said the amended report removed some references to Russians accused of breaching North Korea sanctions.

President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in June at a summit in Singapore where Kim agreed in broad terms to work toward denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

"The full implementation of UN Security Council resolutions remains mandatory for all member states - including Russian Federation".

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

Although virtually all North Koreans lack access to the internet, the US says that IT is not only a source of revenue for its authoritarian government but used by the North for theft and intimidation.

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