On Tuesday, August 22, the Trump Administration unveiled new sanctions against Chinese and Russian individuals and entities in order to restrain North Korea’s development of its nuclear and missile programs. The United States Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) added ten companies and six individuals accused of trading coal, oil, and mineral resources with North Korea to its Specially Designated Nationals List. The Department of Treasury says that North Korea generates nearly $1 billion a year in coal exports and imposed sanctions on three Chinese companies that it determined to have imported North Korean coal between 2013 and 2016.
The sanctions also target Russian fuel exporters and individuals who help those previously penalized for involvement in North Korea’s weapons program. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, “Treasury will continue to increase pressure on North Korea by targeting those who support the advancement of nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and isolating them from the American financial system.”
Earlier this month, the United Nations Security Council agreed to a total ban on coal exports from North Korea. The Treasury Department said this new round of sanctions is designed to complement those passed by the UN Security Council.