US accuses China of ‘flagrant violation’ of North Korea sanctions
Washington Announces $ 5 Million Reward for Sanctions Evasion Information
The United States on Tuesday accused China of “flagrant violation” of obligations to comply with international sanctions against North Korea and announced a reward of up to $ 5 million for information on sanction evasion.
Alex Wong, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for North Korean Affairs, accused China of seeking to undermine the UN sanctions regime designed to persuade North Korea to renounce nuclear weapons. He warned that in response to these efforts, the United States is ready to impose new sanctions on Chinese citizens and organizations..
Wong said at least 20,000 North Korean workers remain in China in violation of UN bans, and last year the US recorded 555 cases of coal and other prohibited goods being transported from North Korea to China by sea..
“In none of these cases … the Chinese authorities took no action to stop these illegal imports,” Wong said speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington..
He added that there are currently at least two dozen North Korean representatives in China associated with Pyongyang’s weapons programs or banks, while Chinese firms continue to do business with UN-sanctioned organizations..
China is “increasingly allowing” its companies to trade sanctioned goods with North Korea, including seafood, textiles, iron and steel, industrial equipment, vehicles, sand and gravel, Wong said..
“In no other country do we see such a breadth and depth of illegal commercial activity with North Korea, the scale of which shows that China is in flagrant violation of its obligations,” he said..
“They seek to revive trade links and remittances to the DPRK, thereby ensuring China’s access to the North Korean economy,” Wong said..
China insists it is complying with UN sanctions against North Korea. At the same time, Beijing and Moscow express the hope that easing these conditions can help break the deadlock in nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang..
Wong said the Department of State is launching a website through which people can provide information on sanctions evasion against North Korea in exchange for rewards of up to $ 5 million..
He also warned of new sanctions for such evasion, including against individuals and entities under Chinese jurisdiction..
“We have imposed many of these sanctions in the past, and new ones will be introduced in the near future,” he said..
Washington also accused China of helping North Korea launder cyber-theft money to fund arms programs..
President Donald Trump held unprecedented meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in an effort to persuade him to renounce nuclear weapons, but these efforts were unsuccessful.
In October, North Korea unveiled one of the world’s largest road-mobile ICBMs. Experts believe that it is capable of reaching any point in the United States if it goes into service..