While the United States is unable to stop the North Koreans from abandoning their nuclear weapons program, they’re going after the companies that do business with the government of Kim Jong Un.
The Treasury Department has slapped additional sanctions on the financial, coal mining and military interests of North Korea by targeting companies that aid it in obtaining weapons of mass destruction and its continued violations of United Nations Security Council resolutions.
The sanctions bar the companies and individuals from doing business with American citizens, and any assets they have in the United States or under U.S. control would be frozen
The sanctions are mostly symbolic since it’s unlikely that the targeted companies or individuals have any such business dealings or U.S. assets. Previous sanctions have had little apparent effect.
The penalties come as the Trump administration seeks to block North Korea’s ability to build a nuclear weapon small enough to put atop a missile, and a ballistic missile powerful enough to deliver it to U.S. shores.
North Korea also has test-fired at least nine ballistic missiles so far this year, most recently on Monday. That missile flew 280 miles toward Japan before falling in the ocean.
The U.S. on Tuesday conducted its own test of a missile defense system, launching a rocket from California that officials said successfully hit and destroyed a target warhead fired from an atoll in the mid-Pacific.
The latest sanctions target North Korea’s army and Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces, its revenue from mining coal and minerals, and several overseas financial operations, according to the Treasury statement.
Among the companies is Moscow-based Ardis-Bearings LLC and its director, Igor Aleksandrovich Michurin. It allegedly works with a North Korean trading company, Tangun, which the U.S. accuses of securing supplies for the nuclear program.
The order also blacklisted Korea Computer Center, a state-run technology research and development company that generates income for the government of Kim Jong Un, with reported overseas locations in Germany, China, India and the Middle East, Treasury said.
President Trump called the North Korean attempts to gain a nuclear arsenal an imminent threat to the United States and has repeatedly called on the north’s biggest ally to do more to stop their nuclear testing. The Chinese have encouraged North Korea to cease and have been working back channels to get them to obey the UN sanctions.
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