Less than a month after a summit meeting between US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the Trump administration has imposed new sanctions on two Chinese shipping companies for helping North Korea evade existing international sanctions over its nuclear weapons programme.
This is regarded as a further move by the US government to penalize China for its long-standing economic support for North Korea, in an effort to bring pressure to bear on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to give up his country’s nuclear programme.
The US Treasury Department listed 67 vessels that it said had engaged in illicit transfers of refined petroleum with North Korean tankers, or were believed to have exported North Korean coal. The US treasury department identified the Chinese firms as Dalian Haibo International Freight, and Liaoning Danxing International Forwarding, under international sanctions banning trade with North Korea.
The two shipping companies will now be banned from the US financial system, and can no longer access any US-based assets.
Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, said in a statement: “The United States and our like-minded partners remain committed to achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea and believe that the full implementation of North Korea-related UN.Security Council resolutions is crucial to a successful outcome.”
The sanctions linked to North Korea come less than a month after the much heralded second summit between Trump and Kim in Hanoi, Vietnam, collapsed without a deal.