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Sanctions Target NKorea,China Companies11/22 06:15

   The Trump administration imposed new sanctions on a slew of North Korean 
shipping firms and Chinese trading companies in its latest push to isolate the 
rogue nation over its nuclear weapons development and deprive it of revenue.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Trump administration imposed new sanctions on a slew 
of North Korean shipping firms and Chinese trading companies in its latest push 
to isolate the rogue nation over its nuclear weapons development and deprive it 
of revenue.

   The Treasury Department also designated a North Korean corporation involved 
in exporting workers overseas. The action Tuesday came a day after the United 
States returned North Korea to its list of state sponsors of terrorism.

   "These designations include companies that have engaged in trade with North 
Korea cumulatively worth hundreds of millions of dollars," Treasury Secretary 
Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. "We are also sanctioning the shipping and 
transportation companies, and their vessels, that facilitate North Korea's 
trade and its deceptive maneuvers."

   Among those targeted were four Chinese-based companies and one Chinese 
individual said to have deep commercial ties with North Korea. The sanctions 
were imposed under a September executive order that opened the way for the U.S. 
to punish foreign companies dealing with the North. It bars those sanctioned 
from holding U.S. assets or doing business with Americans.

   The Dandong Kehua Economy & Trade Co. Ltd., Dandong Xianghe Trading Co. 
Ltd., and Dandong Hongda Trade Co. Ltd. are alleged to have exported about $650 
million worth of goods to North Korea and imported more than $100 million from 
North Korea since 2013. The goods included notebook computers, anthracite coal, 
iron and other commodities and ferrous products.

   Also sanctioned were Chinese national Sun Sidong and his company, Dandong 
Dongyuan Industrial Co., said to have exported more than $28 million worth of 
goods to the North.

   The targeting of Chinese companies is a sore point with Beijing, whose help 
President Donald Trump is counting on to put an economic squeeze on Pyongyang. 
China recently sent its highest-level envoy to North Korea in two years to 
discuss the tense state of affairs on the Korean Peninsula.

   "China firmly opposes unilateral sanctions out of the U.N. Security Council 
framework," the Chinese Embassy in Washington said Tuesday, "especially the 
imposition of the so-called 'long-arm jurisdiction' by other countries in 
accordance with their domestic laws."

   As part of its effort to stymie North Korean transportation networks, the 
Treasury Department sanctioned North Korea's Maritime Administration and its 
transport ministry, six North Korean shipping and trading companies and 20 of 
their vessels, which are all North Korean-flagged.

   It accused North Korea of deceptive shipping practices, including 
ship-to-ship transfers, which is prohibited under U.N. sanctions that have been 
imposed in response to Pyongyang's rapid tempo of nuclear and ballistic missile 
tests. The Treasury statement included aerial photos of what it said was Korea 
Kumbyol Trading Company's vessel Rye Song Gang 1 possibly transferring oil to 
evade sanctions that have restricted fuel exports to the North.

   Also sanctioned was the Korea South-South Cooperation Corporation, said to 
have exported North Korean workers to China, Russia, Cambodia and Poland to 
generate revenue for the government.

   When President Donald Trump announced the terror designation of North Korea 
on Monday, he promised to intensify the "maximum pressure" campaign against 
Pyongyang with the "highest level" of sanctions yet --- part of a rolling 
effort to compel it to negotiate over its nuclear program, which poses an 
emerged threat to the U.S. mainland.

   An editorial Tuesday in North Korea's ruling party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, 
called Trump a "heinous criminal" who had insulted the dignity of the country's 
supreme leadership and its socialist system during his recent visit to South 
Korea. The editorial, carried by the state-run news agency, threatened 
"merciless punishment." It did not mention the terror designation or the threat 
of new sanctions.

   Secretary of State Rex Tillerson acknowledged Monday a two-month pause in 
the North's nuclear and missile tests and said there was still hope for 
diplomacy. With tougher sanctions in the offing, he warned North Korean leader 
Kim Jong Un: "This is only going to get worse until you're ready to come and 
talk."

   The terror designation, however, is likely to exacerbate sour relations 
between Washington and Pyongyang that have turned uglier with name-calling 
between Trump and Kim. North Korea shows no interest in talks aimed at getting 
it to give up its nukes.

   North Korea has joined Iran, Sudan and Syria on America's terror blacklist, 
a position it has occupied on and off over the years. It was designated for two 
decades because of its involvement in international terror attacks in the 
1980s, then taken off in 2008 to smooth the way for nuclear talks that soon 
failed.


(KA)

 
 
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