North Korea has not halted nuclear missile programme, United Nations report finds

US slaps sanctions on Russian bank over North Korea links

US slaps sanctions on Russian bank over North Korea links

The US Treasury Department said Moscow-based Agrosoyuz Commercial Bank had conducted "a significant transaction" for Han Jang Su, the Moscow-based chief representative of Foreign Trade Bank, North Korea's primary foreign exchange bank.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the Pyongyang Trolley Bus Factory and the Bus Repair Factory in Pyongyang, North Korea in this photo released August 4, 2018 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency.

"The United States will continue to enforce UN and U.S. sanctions and shut down illicit revenue streams to North Korea", U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

"These reports are especially concerning as they come just one month after Russian Federation refused to acknowledge North Korea's violations of the UN oil cap and blocked a United States request to enforce sanctions and put a stop to it".

But The Wall Street Journal said that Labor Ministry records it obtained showed that a minimum of 700 new work permits have been issued to North Koreans in Russian Federation this year.

The six-month report by independent experts monitoring the implementation of United Nations sanctions was submitted to the Security Council North Korea sanctions committee late on Friday.

"Until we see the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea there can be no easing of sanctions", Haley said.

The experts said North Korean diplomats also continue to play "a key role in sanctions evasion", including by controlling bank accounts in multiple countries and holding accounts in the name of family members and front companies.

The panel is tasked by the council with monitoring the implementation of the raft of sanctions imposed in response to North Korea's sixth nuclear test and ballistic missile tests.

Alexander Matsegora, Russia's ambassador to North Korea, said the laborers were allowed to work in Russia until November 29, 2019, as their work contracts had been signed before sanctions came into force, Interfax reported.

The report cited United States figures estimating that North Korea had procured over 500,000 barrels of petroleum products in the first five months of 2018, meaning that it would now be in violation of sanctions resolutions.

Despite a ban on joint ventures with North Korea, the panel has uncovered more than 200 such jointly-run firms, many of which are involved in construction and other businesses in Russian Federation.

"This far exceeds Russia's official report on its oil exports to North Korea during the same period, which amounted to United States dollars 25 million".

The experts said ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products, oil and coal involve "increasingly sophisticated evasion techniques".

North Korea also "attempted to supply small arms and light weapons (SALW) and other military equipment via foreign intermediaries" to Libya, Yemen and Sudan, said the report.

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