The United States on Wednesday announced its decision to blacklist companies based in Russia, China and Singapore for violating sanctions on North Korea. The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said its decision was in accordance with the restrictions imposed by the United Nations Security Council to curb North Korea’s nuclear programme.

The US department accused China-based Dalian Sun Moon Star International Logistics Trading Comp and its Singapore-based affiliate, SINSMS Pte, of falsifying documents to enable the “illicit” shipments of alcohol and cigarettes to North Korea. “The consequences for violating these sanctions will remain in place until we have achieved the final, fully-verified denuclearization of North Korea,” the department said.

Washington also accused Russia-based Profinet Pte Limited and its director of violating United Nations restrictions by granting services to Pyongyang-flagged ships at three eastern Russia ports.

Curbs on North Korea

The stated aim of the sanctions are cutting off sources of fuel and revenue that Pyongyang uses to fund its nuclear weapons programme and sustain its military expenditure.

In January, the United States had imposed sanctions on six North Korean ships, nine companies and 16 individuals that it claimed supported Pyongyang’s weapons of mass destruction programmes and other illicit businesses. The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned the North Korean Ministry of Crude Oil Industry too.

Washington also sanctioned two Chinese groups, Beijing Chengxing Trading Co and Dandong Jinxiang Trade, for allegedly exporting goods to North Korean firms that were included on the UN sanctions list. Under the sanctions, Americans are banned from any transfers or dealings with the ships or groups.

In April, the United Nations Security Council blacklisted dozens of ships and shipping firms for allegedly smuggling oil and coal to North Korea. Five of the vessels blacklisted were based in China.