USA furious with United Nations for ‘caving in’ to Russian Federation over sanctions

Treasury targets North Korean-run IT companies with sanctions

Treasury targets North Korean-run IT companies with sanctions

The reach of USA sanctions on North Korea has now extended to two more entities, one Russian and one Chinese firm, amid frustration from the Trump administration that Beijing and Moscow are relaxing their support for a pressure campaign to push Pyongyang to denuclearize.

Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the United Nations, expressed disappointment in the panel monitoring sanctions against North Korea "for caving to Russian pressure and making changes to what should have been an independent report".

"This is a risky precedent and a stain on the important work of the Panel", Haley said, calling for the initial version of the report - dating from early August - to be published.

A North Korean national, Song Hwa Jong, was also sanctioned, it said.

The Treasury announcement said that North Korea sells a range of IT services and products overseas, including website and app development, security software, and biometric identification software that have military and law enforcement applications.

Ms Haley also demanded the bench release the original report, which she claimed Russian Federation off-loaded oil in North Korea on a ship-to-ship transfer basis.

"This is a unsafe precedent and a stain on the important work of the panel".

At the end of August, Russia blocked publication of the report because it disagreed with the findings.

Sister technology firms, Jilin-based China Silver Star and Vladivostok-based Volasys Silver Star, were Chinese and Russian in name only and acted as front companies for North Koreans, the US Treasury Department alleged in a press release on Thursday.

More sanctions slapped on entities that allegedly had a hand in helped North Korea develop nuclear weapons.

He warned 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".

The US in July had demanded without success an end to all oil exports to North Korea, citing satellite photographs and expert reports to claim illegal ship-to-ship transfers had allowed Pyongyang to evade sanctions over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

The diplomat added: "The sanctions committee gave in".

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