U.S. targets North Korea coal shipments with new sanctions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has blacklisted six companies, including several based in China, and four ships accused of illicit exports of North Korean coal, the Treasury Department said on Tuesday. The United Nations Security Council banned North Korean coal exports in 2017

Reuters December 09, 2020 00:11:40 IST
U.S. targets North Korea coal shipments with new sanctions

US targets North Korea coal shipments with new sanctions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has blacklisted six companies, including several based in China, and four ships accused of illicit exports of North Korean coal, the Treasury Department said on Tuesday.

The United Nations Security Council banned North Korean coal exports in 2017. The 15-member body has unanimously boosted sanctions on North Korea since 2006 in a bid to choke off funding for Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

"The DPRK (North Korea) continues to circumvent the U.N. prohibition on the exportation of coal, a key revenue generator that helps fund its weapons of mass destruction programs," U.S. Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

"The North Korean regime often uses forced labor from prison camps in its mining industries, including coal, exploiting its own people to advance its illicit weapons programs," he said.

An annual report to the U.N. Security Council by independent sanctions monitors earlier this year said North Korea continued to flout council resolutions "through illicit maritime exports of commodities, notably coal and sand" in 2019, earning Pyongyang hundreds of millions of dollars.

The U.S. action freezes any U.S. assets of those sanctioned and generally bars Americans from dealing with them.

The blacklisted ships - Calm Bridge, Asia Bridge, Lucky Star and Star 18 - "loaded coal directly from North Korean ports and transported their cargo throughout the region," the U.S. Treasury Department said.

The shipping companies sanctioned are China-based Weihai Huijiang Trade Ltd, Always Smooth Ltd, and Good Siblings Ltd. Always Smooth and Good Siblings are also registered in Britain, the Treasury Department said.

It also designated Hong Kong-based Silver Bridge Shipping Co-HKG, Vietnam-based Thinh Cuong Co Ltd and Korea Daizin Trading Corporation, which operates in North Korea and Vietnam.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump have met three times since 2018, but failed to make progress on U.S. calls for Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons and North Korea’s demands for an end to sanctions.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Michelle Nichols; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bernadette Baum)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.