The US has imposed sanctions on a Chinese firm Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development (DHID) that has been suspected to have provided financial services and illicit goods to North Korea for its nuclear and missile program.
The US Treasury on Monday blacklisted the industry machinery wholesaler, and four of its executives, including founder Ma Xiaohong, The Korea Herald reported Tuesday.
The Department of Justice also laid criminal charges against them for “conspiring to evade” its sanctions and to “launder money instruments.” The move considered as USA’s first independent penalty of a Chinese enterprise for ties with the North. Besides, the sanctions also alert other third countries to the risks of dealings with the North.
“The move is expected to help consolidate the international community’s resolve for a thorough implementation of UN Security council resolutions,” South Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Based in the North Korean-Chinese border city of Dandong, DHID was found to have used front companies, financial facilitators as well as trade representatives to facilitate transactions on behalf of Korea Kwangson Banking Corp., which is already under UN and US bans for providing financial services in support of the communist state’s proliferation program.
The company and four people are subject to a property freeze in US. Further, Americans are prohibited from making transactions involving them.
The Department of Justice has also filed a civil forfeiture action for all funds in 25 bank accounts connected with DHID. Further the department has sent request for a related restraining order to China.
“DHID and its employees sought to evade US and UN sanctions, facilitating access to the US financial system by a designated entity. Treasury will take forceful action to pressure North Korea’s proliferation network and to protect the US financial system from abuse.” Adam Szubin, the Treasury’s acting under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement. The firm is a subsidiary of Hongxiang Group, which is under the investigation of China on allegations it has supplied items with potential military uses to North Korea.
Early this month, the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul and the Center for Advanced Defense Studies in Washington said in a joint report that the conglomerate provided aluminum oxide, pure aluminum ingots, ammonium paratungstate, tungsten trioxide and other “dual use” materials used in enriching uranium or building missiles.
China on Tuesday responded that it is upset over US Sanctions. China is opposed to any country using its own laws to carry out "long arm jurisdiction", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.