Treasury targets two Chinese shipping firms under North Korea sanctions

Treasury targets two Chinese shipping firms under North Korea sanctions
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The Treasury Department on Thursday targeted two Chinese shipping companies that allegedly helped North Korea evade international trade sanctions.

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control penalized Dalian Haibo International Freight Co. Ltd. and Liaoning Danxing International Forwarding Co. Ltd. under international sanctions banning trade with North Korea.

The two shipping companies are now banned from the U.S. financial system and can no longer access any U.S.-based assets. Individuals and firms that do business with the companies could also face U.S. penalties.

The U.S. and United Nations have imposed strict sanctions on North Korea, banning the shipping or sale of technology, luxury goods, fuel and military equipment to the country.

Treasury’s action is the latest U.S. effort to penalize China for its long-standing economic support for North Korea, as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to abandon the country's nuclear program.

“The United States and our like-minded partners remain committed to achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea and believe that the full implementation of North Korea-related UN Security Council resolutions is crucial to a successful outcome,” said Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Hillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Apple reportedly dropped plans to let iPhone users encrypt backups | Justices decline facial recognition case | Critics fear Facebook losing misinformation fight | Truce on French tech tax On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Trump at Davos warns Europe on trade | President boasts about US economy to global elite | Experts say Trump trade victories may yield little growth MORE in a statement Thursday. “Treasury will continue to enforce our sanctions, and we are making it explicitly clear that shipping companies employing deceptive tactics to mask illicit trade with North Korea expose themselves to great risk.”

Dalian Haibo allegedly shipped cargo from China to North Korea on behalf of Paeksol Trading Corporation. Treasury targeted North Korea-based Paeksol under sanctions in 2017 for allegedly funding a North Korean intelligence agency through iron ore sales to China.

Liaoning Danxing is accused of using “deceptive practices” to help North Korean officials based in the European Union purchase goods for Kim's government.