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American Shipper

U.S. bans four Chinese entities for ties to North Korea

Dalian Global Unity Shipping, two Chinese nationals and Bank of Dandong have been banned by the U.S. Treasury Department for violating a United Nations ban on shipping and transactions with North Korea.

   The U.S. Treasury Department has banned Dalian Global Unity Shipping Co. and three other Chinese entities and nationals for their ties to the government of North Korea, the department said in a statement.
   Dalian Global Unity Shipping Co., was targeted for “transporting 700,000 tons of freight annually, including coal and steel products, between China and North Korea” despite the United Nations (UN) ban on such freight movements, said the Treasury Department report.
   “According to the 2013 report by the UN Panel of Experts on North Korea, Dalian Global Unity was actively involved in eight cases of luxury goods smuggling incidents and is suspected of involvement in at least one other case,” the department said. “Middlemen from Dalian Global Unity gave specific instructions about how shipments and transactions could evade the UN-mandated luxury goods ban.”
   Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control also targeted Chinese citizens Sun Wei and Li Hong Ri, along with Bank of Dandong, for offering financial services and assistance to North Korea.
   However, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, “We are in no way targeting China with these actions. We will follow the money and we will cut off the money.
   “We continue to work with China. This is about North Korea and how serious we are taking this,” he added.
   According to U.S. officials, the Bank Dandong “’acts as a conduit for North Korea’ to gain access to U.S. and international financial systems, allowing it to move millions of dollars for companies tied to North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs.” A ban on U.S. banks and persons opening accounts with or on behalf of Bank of Dandong is being pursued under the Patriot Act, the Treasury report said.
   The two Chinese nationals and trading firm were investigated under a “previously issued executive order cracking down on those who offer financial help to North Korea,” Treasury said. Sun was targeted for his work for Foreign Trade Bank, North Korea’s state export bank, while Li was designated for opening front companies for previously targeted banks that work with North Korea’s government.

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