Treasury targets North Korean, Chinese shipping companies with new sanctions

Treasury targets North Korean, Chinese shipping companies with new sanctions
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The Treasury Department on Tuesday targeted more than a dozen Chinese and North Korean shipping companies with economic sanctions as part of its effort to exert more pressure on Pyongyang.

The department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) targeted one person, 12 shipping companies and 20 vessels “with long-standing commercial ties to North Korea,” blocking them from the U.S. financial system and freezing their U.S.-based assets.

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Tuesday’s sanctions were issued under executive orders giving the Treasury Department power to target people and organizations believed to be financing and supplying the North Korean government, military and economy. They are the latest in a string of actions taken by the Trump administration to put economic pressure on Kim Jong Un's regime for its repeated missile tests.

“As North Korea continues to threaten international peace and security, we are steadfast in our determination to maximize economic pressure to isolate it from outside sources of trade and revenue while exposing its evasive tactics,” said Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTrump considering meeting with China's Xi next month to finish trade deal U.S. farm exports expected to drop nearly billion amid US-China trade dispute Huawei CEO: Daughter's arrest was 'politically motivated' MORE.  

Mnuchin said the sanctions target “companies that have engaged in trade with North Korea cumulatively worth hundreds of millions of dollars” and  “the shipping and transportation companies, and their vessels, that facilitate North Korea’s trade and its deceptive maneuvers.”

The targeted parties are all alleged to have shipped goods banned from being exported to North Korea by international law. Treasury targeted four Chinese shipping companies and one executive for shipping hundreds of millions of dollars worth of computers, equipment, fuel, minerals and items used to construct nuclear reactors.

Treasury also sanctioned two North Korean government agencies and five shipping companies alleged to have violated the sanctions. The companies were accused of hiding illegal shipments by using deceptive ship transfers to evade sanctions.