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U.S. Imposes Sanctions on N.Korean IT Firms

16 September 2018

After the initial experts' report was released, Russian Federation and China blocked the United Nations from imposing sanctions on Russia-based entities and vessels sanctioned a week earlier by the U.S. Treasury Department.

The United States has accused Russian Federation of altering an independent United Nations report to cover up Moscow's alleged violation of UN sanctions on North Korea.

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. Sanctions were toughened last time on December 22 of the a year ago.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the sanctions were meant to stop the flow of illicit revenue to North Korea from overseas IT workers hiding behind front companies and aliases.

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White House officials acknowledge there's been no progress on denuclearization, even as President Donald Trump considers a second summit with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on September 13 said Russian Federation pressured the independent sanctions monitors to amend a report that was eventually submitted to the Security Council's North Korea sanctions committee last month.

"Russia can't be allowed to edit and obstruct independent United Nations reports on North Korea sanctions just because they don't like what they say. Period", Haley said in a statement.

A summary of the experts' report obtained in early August by The Associated Press also said North Korea has not stopped its nuclear and missile programs.

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Diplomats said Russian Federation pressured the independent sanctions monitors to amend the report.

The UN Security Council will meet on Monday over the implementation of sanctions on North Korea at the request of Washington, the U.S. mission to the United Nations said.

By blocking since early August release of the original document, Russia explained that the report relied mainly on American information and did not take into account a Russian analysis of the application of sanctions.

The sanctions come at a time when the United States is maintaining pressure on the North Korean government in its negotiations to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

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U.S. Imposes Sanctions on N.Korean IT Firms