By Michael Hernandez
The U.S. sanctioned one individual, 13 entities, and 20 vessels Tuesday in a move targeted at individuals with long-term business ties to North Korea, and transportation networks used by Pyongyang.
The blacklistings were promised by President Donald Trump a day earlier when he reinstated North Korea on the U.S.'s state sponsors of terrorism list amid a push to reign in that country’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs.
“As North Korea continues to threaten international peace and security, we are steadfast in our determination to maximize economic pressure to isolate it from outside sources of trade and revenue while exposing its evasive tactics,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a statement.
In all, the U.S. sanctioned four Chinese companies and one Chinese national. They include Dandong Kehua Economy & Trade Co., Ltd., Dandong Xianghe Trading Co., Ltd., and Dandong Hongda Trade Co. Ltd. that the U.S. said were sanctioned because they allegedly exported more than $650 million worth of goods to North Korea, and imported more than $100 million in goods from the country.
Trump signed an executive order in September aimed at curtailing business with the North.
Sun Sidong and his company, Dandong Dongyuan Industrial Co., Ltd., were also blacklisted for allegedly exporting more than $28 million in goods to North Korea "over several years".
The Treasury Department also asserted that Dongyuan has been tied to front companies linked to the North's weapons of mass destruction organizations.
Trump has been seeking China's assistance in bringing North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs to an end, and it is unclear if the new sanctions will unravel some of the success he claimed during and after his first official trip to Asia earlier this month.
The Treasury Department also sanctioned North Korea's maritime association and its transportation ministry in addition to six North Korean shipping and trading companies.
It accused Pyongyang of deceptive shipping practices, including ship-to-ship transfers, which are prohibited under a UN Security Council resolution in September.
The Korea South-South Cooperation Corporation was also designated for sending North Korean workers to China, Russia, Cambodia and Poland in a scheme meant to benefit Pyongyang’s government.
*Gulbin Yildirim contributed to this report from Washington