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U.S. slaps sanctions on North Korean firms

Profile image for Matthew Pennington
Matthew Pennington, Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration imposed new sanctions Tuesday on a slew of North Korean shipping firms and Chinese trading companies in its latest push to isolate the rogue nation over its nuclear weapons development and deprive it of revenue.

The Treasury Department also designated a North Korean corporation involved in exporting workers overseas.

The action came a day after the United States returned North Korea to its list of state sponsors of terrorism.

"These designations include companies that have engaged in trade with North Korea cumulatively worth hundreds of millions of dollars," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. "We are also sanctioning the shipping and transportation companies, and their vessels, that facilitate North Korea's trade and its deceptive maneuvers."

Among the companies targeted were four Chinese-based companies and one Chinese individual said to have deep commercial ties with North Korea. The sanctions were imposed under a September executive order that opened the way for the U.S. to punish foreign companies dealing with the North. It bars those sanctioned from holding U.S. assets or doing business with Americans.

The Dandong Kehua Economy & Trade Co. Ltd., Dandong Xianghe Trading Co. Ltd., and Dandong Hongda Trade Co. Ltd. are alleged to have exported about $650 million worth of goods to North Korea and imported more than $100 million from North Korea since 2013. The goods included notebook computers, anthracite coal, iron and other commodities and ferrous products.

Also sanctioned were Chinese national Sun Sidong and his company, Dandong Dongyuan Industrial Co., said to have exported more than $28 million worth of goods to the North.

FEATURED PHOTO: People watch a TV screen showing an image of U.S. President Donald Trump at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday. (Ahn Young-Joon/AP)