US Sanctions 2 Companies For Being North Korean Fronts

By Tim Ahmann and Hyonhee Shin

Washington has also accused Russian Federation of violating United Nations sanctions on North Korea by granting work permits to North Korean laborers despite Russia's denial of any such actions.

The Trump administration has kept up sanctions pressure on the North, even as the US seeks to negotiate on denuclearization. Sanctions were toughened last time on December 22 of the a year ago.

The Security Council has remained united in imposing tougher and tougher sanctions on North Korea, but the differences over the experts' report mark a first dent in that unity.

The department claims the companies are fronts for the North Korean government.

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley accused Moscow on Thursday of seeking to cover up breaches of U.N. sanctions on North Korea by Russians after it pushed for changes to an independent report on sanctions violations.

Washington, Sep 14 (IANS): The US has imposed sanctions on two North Korean-controlled information technology (IT) companies based in China and Russian Federation, accusing them of moving illicit funds to Pyongyang, the media reported.

USA ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, blasted the panel for not doing enough to monitor sanctions imposed by Donald Trump, and "for caving to Russian pressure and making changes to what should have been an independent report".

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one diplomat said the amended report removed some references to Russians accused of breaching North Korea sanctions.

At the end of August, Russia blocked publication of the report because it disagreed with findings that Pyongyang had exceeded a 2018 import limit for oil set by the sanctions imposed in 2017, the diplomat said.

By blocking since early August release of the original document, Russia explained that the report relied mainly on American information and did not take into account a Russian analysis of the application of sanctions.

The United States and other council members have said there must be strict enforcement of sanctions until Pyongyang acts. "The full implementation of U.N. Security Council resolutions remains mandatory for all member states - including Russian Federation".

Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in June at a summit in Singapore where Kim agreed in broad terms to work toward denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

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