The United States has imposed sanctions on two North Korean-controlled information technology companies based in China and Russia, accusing them of moving illicit funds to North Korea.
“These actions are intended to stop the flow of illicit revenue to North Korea from overseas information technology workers disguising their true identities and hiding behind front companies, aliases, and third-party nationals,” said Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in an official statement.
The department designated the China-based China Silver Star, its North Korean CEO Jong Song Hwa and its Russia-based sister company Volasys Silver Star as such fronts.
The sanctions come at a time when the U.S. is maintaining pressure on the North Korean government in its negotiations to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
“The United States will continue to fully enforce and implement sanctions until we have achieved the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea,” Mnuchin said.
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed an agreement during their historic summit in Singapore in June for the North to dismantle its nuclear program. But the two sides are at an impasse over the pace of North Korea ending its nuclear and missile development programs.