U.S. warns Rus­sia, China on sanc­tions

The Expositor (Brantford) - - WORLD NEWS - MATTHEW PEN­NING­TON

WASH­ING­TON — The U.S. warned Tues­day that it will pun­ish com­pa­nies in China and Rus­sia that don’t com­ply with re­stric­tions in the new in­ter­na­tional sanc­tions on North Korea.

State Depart­ment and Trea­sury Depart­ment of­fi­cials tes­ti­fied to the House For­eign Af­fairs Com­mit­tee about the U.S. pres­sure cam­paign against North Korea’s rapid progress to­ward a nu­clear weapon that could strike Amer­ica.

The hear­ing came a day af­ter the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil im­posed its lat­est sanc­tions over what North Korea says was a hy­dro­gen bomb test Sept. 3, its most pow­er­ful atomic test yet. The coun­cil banned North Korean tex­tile ex­ports, an im­por­tant source of hard cur­rency, and capped its im­ports of crude oil.

Trea­sury As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary for Ter­ror­ist Fi­nanc­ing Mar­shall Billingslea cred­ited China and Rus­sia’s sup­port of the UN res­o­lu­tion but said both coun­tries “must do much more” to im­ple­ment and en­force the sanc­tions, in the face of Py­ongyang ’s abil­ity to evade re­stric­tions that have been pro­gres­sively tight­ened for a decade.

“Be­cause of un­even, and some­times nonex­is­tent, in­ter­na­tional im­ple­men­ta­tion, North Korea shrugs off the prac­ti­cal im­pact of many re­stric­tions, and is still ex­port­ing pro­hib­ited goods such as weapons, min­er­als, and stat­ues,” Billingslea said.

He showed to the hear­ing satel­lite images pro­vided by U.S. in­tel­li­gence of ships pur­ported to travel be­tween Rus­sia and China with il­licit ex­ports of North Korean coal in vi­o­la­tion of sanc­tions.

Su­san Thorn­ton, the act­ing top U.S. diplo­mat for East Asia, noted that last month the U.S. rolled out new sanc­tions tar­get­ing Rus­sian and Chi­nese in­di­vid­u­als and en­ti­ties. She said the U.S. would con­tinue to act to dis­rupt North Korea’s il­licit ac­tiv­i­ties wher­ever they are lo­cated.

That in­cluded a June 29 des­ig­na­tion of the Bank of Dan­dong, a re­gional Chi­nese bank, which is be­lieved to help North Korea ac­cess the U.S. and in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial sys­tems.

Thorn­ton said the ad­min­is­tra­tion “has made clear that if China and Rus­sia do not act, we will use the tools we have at our dis­posal.”

Repub­li­can Rep. Ed Royce, the com­mit­tee chair­man, said ef­forts by the U.S. and its al­lies to counter the threat from North Korea nu­clear and mis­sile pro­grams should be “su­per-charged.”

JACQUELYN MARTIN/THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Trea­sury As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary for Ter­ror­ist Fi­nanc­ing Mar­shall Billingslea tes­ti­fies dur­ing a House For­eign Af­fairs Com­mit­tee hear­ing on North Korea.

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