The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on a Russian port service agency and Chinese firms for aiding North Korean ships and selling alcohol and tobacco to Pyongyang in breach of U.S. sanctions aimed at pressuring North Korea to end its nuclear programs.
In a statement, the U.S. Treasury said China-based Dalian Sun Moon Star International Logistics Trading Co. Ltd and its Singapore-based affiliate SINSMS Pte. Ltd had netted over $1 billion a year by exporting alcohol and cigarette products to North Korea.
Additionally, the department sanctioned Russian-based Profinet Pte Ltd and its director general, Vasili Aleksandrovich Kolchanov, for providing port services on at least six occasions to North Korean-flagged ships.
Kolchanov was personally involved in North Korea-related deals and interacted directly with North Korean representatives in Russia, the Treasury department said.
"The tactics that these entities based in China, Singapore, and Russia are using to attempt to evade sanctions are prohibited under U.S. law, and all facets of the shipping industry have a responsibility to abide by them or expose themselves to serious risks," U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
Washington has been pressuring North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program.