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(2nd LD) U.S. imposes sanctions on 6 entities, 4 vessels related to N. Korea

North Korea 01:47 December 09, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with remarks from U.S. secretary of treasury, more information in paras 2-4, 10-11)
By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 (Yonhap) -- The United States on Tuesday named six new entities and four vessels subject to sanctions imposed on North Korea.

"Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated six entities and identified four vessels related to the transport of North Korean coal," the department said in a press release.

"The DPRK continues to circumvent the UN prohibition on the exportation of coal, a key revenue generator that helps fund its weapons of mass destruction programs," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was quoted as saying, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"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 added.

Coal at N. Korean port

The six new entities, including London-based Chinese firm Always Smooth Ltd., were put on the U.S. list of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN).

They include Good Siblings Ltd., also based in London, and Korea Daizin Trading Corp. in Hanoi.

The rest are Silver Bridge Shipping Co-HKG, Thinh Cuong Co., Ltd. and WeiHai Huijiang Trade Ltd.

The Treasury Department said the listed entities all posed "secondary sanctions risks" to North Korea sanctions regulation.

Under the latest move, all transactions with the listed entities are prohibited for "persons owned or controlled by U.S. financial institutions," it added.

Tuesday's move came after Alex Wong, U.S. deputy special representative for North Korea, accused China of failing to implement U.N. Security Council sanctions on North Korea that limit energy shipments to and from the North, including coal.

"Such actions address the transportation and exportation of North Korean coal in violation of UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 2371 and underscore that entities within the People's Republic of China (PRC) have continued to engage in activities prohibited under the UNSCRs," the Treasury Department said.

The photo, taken on July 16, 2019, shows Togo-registered cargo ship DN5505 moored at a quay in Pohang, about 370 kilometers southeast of Seoul. The Seoul government seized the ship in February on suspicion of having entered the South Korean port while carrying 3,217 tons of North Korean coal from the Russian port of Nakhodka in violation of U.N. sanctions on North Korea. (Yonhap)

Also subject to fresh sanctions are four vessels linked to the six listed entities that also run the risk of secondary violation.

They are Asia Bridge, also known as Asia Bridge 2, Calm Bridge, Lucky Star and Vietnam-flagged Star 18.


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