Trump Administration Sanctions Companies Helping North Korea

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration announced new sanctions on Wednesday against three organizations and an individual accused of facilitating illicit shipments to North Korea, keeping pressure on the government of Kim Jong-un amid ongoing negotiations over the dismantling of his nuclear program.

The companies targeted by the Treasury Department are based in China, Singapore and Russia. The shipments, which violate sanctions imposed by the United States and the United Nations, include exports of alcohol, tobacco and cigarette products, as well as refined oil products.

“Treasury will continue to implement existing sanctions on North Korea, and will take action to block and designate companies, ports, and vessels that facilitate illicit shipments and provide revenue streams to the DPRK,” Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, said in a statement, using initials for North Korea’s official name.

“The tactics that these entities based in China, Singapore, and Russia are using to attempt to evade sanctions are prohibited under U.S. law, and all facets of the shipping industry have a responsibility to abide by them or expose themselves to serious risks,” Mr. Mnuchin said.

He added: “Consequences for violating these sanctions will remain in place until we have achieved the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea.”

The sanctions signal the Trump administration’s exasperation with North Korea, which is insisting on a declared end of the Korean War before it takes steps to halt and dismantle its nuclear weapons program. American officials did not consider that as a precondition to an agreement with Mr. Kim — to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula — when the North Korean leader met in June in Singapore with President Trump.

But the new penalties are as much of a sign to China as they are to North Korea — that the United States is monitoring violations and will not let up until progress is made on denuclearization.

The Treasury Department said that the China-based Dalian Sun Moon Star International Logistics Trading Co. and SINSMS Pte. Ltd., its affiliate in Singapore, used falsified shipping documents to export products to North Korea.

Profinet, in Russia, is accused of providing fuel services to North Korean shipping vessels to help them avoid oil-related sanctions. The company’s director general, Vasili A. Kolchanov, was also sanctioned on Wednesday.

Several weeks ago, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cited evidence from satellite photographs of continuing North Korean violations of the maritime bans. He has maintained that sanctions will remain in place, though there is evidence that the sanctions regime is fracturing as China and Russia see the crisis over North Korea’s nuclear program easing.

While Mr. Trump has heralded the success of his meeting two months ago with Mr. Kim, the two countries have been stalemated ever since.

Last week, John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, expressed his disappointment with North Korea.

“We’re waiting for the North Koreans to begin the process of denuclearization, which they committed to in Singapore and which they’ve not yet done,” Mr. Bolton told CNN.

David E. Sanger contributed reporting.