Sanctions over North Korea risk undermining peace process

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 19, 2018

Just in case this is getting a bit convoluted for you, the United Nations imposed sanctions on North Korea more than a decade ago, including bans on exports of military supplies, iron ore, coal, seafood and textiles.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Chinese and Russian companies were meted sanctions Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) by the US Treasury for violating the economic embargo on North Korea as Washington seeks to maintain pressure on Pyongyang over its nuclear program.

"The destructive U.S.' tactics, pursued beyond the framework of the U.N. Security Council and its 1718 Sanctions Committee, is only able to undermine the progress, which has been made recently towards the settlement", the foreign ministry said.

Also named was Profinet director general Vasili Aleksandrovich Kolchanov, whom the Treasury said "was personally involved" in deals with the North Koreans.

Steven Mnuchin, secretary of the Treasury, affirmed in a communique that his country will continue applying this type of sanctions and will take measures to block companies, ports and ships that facilitate remittances and give revenues to Pyongyang.

The latest hitch in negotiations has been over North Korea's demand that the United States join the two Koreas in declaring an end to the Korean War. Such commentaries aren't statements on official positions, but can be read as a reflection of the Chinese regime's thinking.

The Department of Treasury's press release did not say when the company had worked with the now-sanctioned oil tankers and whether they had transacted after the ships were added to the UN's blacklist. The U.S. then followed up with sanctions of its own after president George W. Bush declared the country a security threat in 2008.

The statement was echoed by Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov during an interview with Interfax news agency on the same day.

Moscow was working on retaliatory measures, added Ryabkov, saying the Russian leadership would decide whether to hit back.

According to official data, "PROFINET" serves seagoing vessels at ports in the far East.

Kolchanov told Reuters the sanctions against him and his firm were illegal, and said he only helped prepare documents for the North Korean vessels.

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