US sanctions North Korea tech firms based in China, Russia

September 14, 2018

CNN:

Washington (CNN)The US announced new sanctions against North Korea Thursday, taking aim at a Chinese company, its North Korean CEO and its Russia-based sister company. The two information technology companies are actually North Korean-controlled entities, the Treasury Department said in a statement Tuesday that accused the Russia-based company Volasys Silver Star, China-based China Silver Star and its CEO Jong Song Hwa of violating US sanctions.

“These actions are intended 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,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. He warned the “IT industry, businesses, and individuals across the globe to take precautions to ensure that they are not unwittingly employing North Korean workers for technology projects by doing business with companies like the ones designated today.”

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

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