The U.S. said on Monday that it has sanctioned a Chinese firm and four of its executives, saying that the company acted on behalf of a North Korean bank, which has been under U.S. and U.N. sanctions for supporting proliferation of nuclear weapons. The U.S. Treasury accused the company’s executives of using front companies to evade economic sanctions on North Korea and engaging in money laundering.
The sanctioned company, Dandong Hongxiang (D.H.I.D.), and its top executives are also being investigated by Chinese authorities for illegal behavior and economic crimes, writes the BBC. The action will be followed by forfeiture of all funds held in 25 bank accounts associated with D.H.I.D.
The move comes a week after U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang agreed to scale up cooperation against North Korea, which conducted its fifth and largest ever nuclear test on September 9.
The North, which remains diplomatically isolated from the world in wake of a string of missile and nuclear tests since 2006, currently has five set of U.N. sanctions imposed on it. South Korea welcomed Washington’s move that further tighten the financial noose around Pyongyang’s nuclear program, reports Reuters.