The Donald Trump administration has issued a warning against companies and countries violating the UN sanctions on North Korea. Experts point out that the warning is intended to control the flow of cash into the North and put pressure on it to accelerate denuclearization.
The U.S. State Department made public on July 23 the names of 239 companies engaged in illegal trade with North Korea, telling them to stop their activities. It also revealed a list of 42 countries providing entry permission for North Korean workers, including China, Russia, Singapore and Algeria. In addition, the State Department pointed out that the North has circumvented sanctions by using China and Russia in tampering with country-of-origin certificates.
According to the department, anyone violating the sanctions can be criminally charged and subjected to a fine of US$295,141 for each violation or the fine can be equivalent to twice the transaction amount. Still, it mentioned that the warning has nothing to do with possible new sanctions.
In the meantime, Mark Lambert, acting deputy assistant secretary of state, visits South Korea on July 25. On the face of it, his visit is to discuss negotiation strategies. However, some point out that it is to present new sanction guidelines and turn down the South Korean government’s recent request for exemption from the sanctions that is limited to inter-Korean exchange.