US accuses Russia of covering up breaches of North Korea sanctions

Elias Hubbard
September 14, 2018

South Korea's foreign ministry says it sees the move as reflecting Washington's stance that sanctions must be enforced alongside dialogue in order to achieve the Peninsula's complete denuclearization.

Thursday's sanctions announcement is the latest sign the United States is moving to increase pressure on Pyongyang to end its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

According to an anonymous United Nations diplomat, the Russia "obtained the removal of the main part of the paragraphs", referring to the panel's original report that had named the Russian ships and entities accused of breaking U.S. sanctions. Those amendments have only increased the quality of the report, the mission said. "The full implementation of U.N. Security Council resolutions remains mandatory for all member states - including Russian Federation".

"The regime's state-run Korean Central News Agency on Thursday put up commentary by a researcher at its foreign ministry who said that the hacker the USA sanctioned does not exist, and that North Korea had nothing to do with the crime".

The amended report removed some references to Russians accused of breaching sanctions on North Korea, said one diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinBusinesses urge Trump admin. against Postal Service rate hikes Trump admin mulling sanctions on China over Muslim internment camps: report Trump administration weighs sanctions over Chinese hackers: report MORE said in a statement that the penalties "are meant to stop the flow of illicit revenue to North Korea from overseas information technology workers disguising their true identities and hiding behind front companies, aliases, and third-party nationals".

Amid such reporting, President Trump has suggested repeatedly, in interviews and via twitter, that China has been relaxing its enforcement of sanctions enacted before his summit with Kim.

The reach of U.S. sanctions on North Korea has now extended to two more entities, one Russian and one Chinese firm, amid frustration from the Trump administration that Beijing and Moscow are relaxing their support for a pressure campaign to push Pyongyang to denuclearize.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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