US accuses China of 'flagrant violation' of North Korea sanctions
Iran Press TV
Tuesday, 01 December 2020 7:01 PM
The US administration has accused China of a "flagrant violation" of sanctions against North Korea, which are aimed to prevent Pyongyang from advancing its peaceful nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for North Korea Alex Wong accused Beijing on Tuesday of "seeking to undo" the United Nations (UN)'s sanctions on Pyongyang.
Speaking to Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies, Wong claimed that China currently hosted at least two dozen North Korean representatives linked to Pyongyang's weapons programs, and Chinese companies continued to do business with UN-sanctioned entities.
Wong said Beijing also continued to host at least 20,000 North Korean laborers in violation of UN bans, and that the United States had in the past year observed ships carrying coal or other prohibited goods from North Korea to China on 555 separate occasions.
The US official also claimed that China "increasingly allows" its companies to do business with North Korea in a broad range of UN-prohibited goods, including seafood, textiles, iron, steel, industrial machinery, vehicles, sand, and gravel.
"They are seeking to revive trade links and revenue transfers to the North, thereby ensuring Chinese reach into the North's economy," Wong added.
Wong said the US State Department was launching a website through which people could provide information on North Korea sanctions evasion in return for up to five million dollars.
China has repeatedly expressed commitment to the UN sanctions on North Korea, but has, alongside Russia, insisted that an easing of restrictive measures could help break the deadlock in nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang.
Pyongyang has in recent years been subject to multiple UN Security Council sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs. The US has spearheaded those sanctions and has imposed several of its own.
North Korea, which conducted six nuclear tests between 2006 and 2017, suspended its nuclear and missile tests in 2018, and demolished a nuclear test site as signs of goodwill in the course of diplomacy then underway with the US.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has met US President Donald Trump three times, but diplomacy has gradually halted because of Washington's refusal to relieve any of the harsh sanctions in exchange for the goodwill measures by Pyongyang.
Early this year, Pyongyang eventually called off two years of the moratorium on nuclear and missile tests and said it would soon develop a "new strategic weapon."
Back in June, a UN human rights expert called on the Security Council to "reconsider [the] sanctions" as they were worsening the humanitarian crisis in North Korea amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Tomas Ojea Quintana, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in North Korea, warned that the sanctions had interrupted food supplies and subsequently precipitated a humanitarian crisis in the country.
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