The U.S. slapped new sanctions on agents of the Kim regime aiding North Korea as it develops weapons of mass destruction Wednesday, further tightening the noose on the rogue state.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury sanctioned nine entities, 16 individuals, and six ships “in response to North Korea’s ongoing development of weapons of mass destruction and continued violations of United Nations Security Council Resolutions,” the department said in a statement Wednesday, adding that the new sanctions “target agents of the Kim regime financing or otherwise supporting North Korea’s WMD programs and other illicit businesses.”
Sanctions target North Korean operatives, shipyards, and the crude oil industry, as well as companies and individuals in China — Beijing Chengxing Trading Co. Ltd. and Dandong Jinxiang Trade Co. Ltd. While Beijing has taken meaningful steps to reduce trade between China and North Korea, China is still coming under fire for regular sanctions violations. (RELATED: ‘CAUGHT RED HANDED’: Trump Calls Out China For Shipping Oil To North Korea)
The Trump administration has also been critical of Russia for helping North Korea evade international sanctions. (RELATED: Report: Russia Sneaked Oil To North Korea On Multiple Occasions In Recent Months)
“We are sanctioning additional oil, shipping, and trading companies,” Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin stressed, “that continue to provide a lifeline to North Korea to fuel this regime’s nuclear ambitions and destabilizing activities.”
The new sanctions signal that the Trump administration fully intends to continue the “maximum pressure” campaign even as North and South Korea hold hands for the Olympics.
North Korea is facing the toughest ever sanctions, and there are signs that international sanctions are “really starting to hurt,” according to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
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