US blacklists Russian, Chinese companies for breaking North Korea embargo

UN N. Korea still pursuing missiles program

The illicit cigarette trade in North Korea has reportedly delivered profits of over $1 billion to North Korea's regime, according to the Treasury Department.

The Treasury Department said the companies in China and Singapore were exporting alcohol, tobacco, and cigarette products to North Korea in violation of UN Security Council sanctions.

The sanctions mandate that no US citizen can deal with any of those designated in the order, and any of their properties in the United States "must be blocked", Treasury said.

Profinet is accused of providing port services for North Korean-flagged vessels at least six times, including ships previously targeted with sanctions by the US for illegally importing oil.

"We can only suspend our business now", Liang said.

It comes as the USA continues to press for full compliance with global sanctions against North Korea while it continues talks with the North on ending its nuclear program.

China's official Xinhua news agency said the United States needed to back off pressuring North Korea if it was serious about wanting lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

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Past year the U.N. Security Council passed a series of resolutions sanctioning the North for its sixth test of a nuclear weapon and multiple tests of ballistic missiles capable of reaching the U.S.

The Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the ruling Workers' Party, said in a commentary that inter-Korean relations can hardly move forward in the interests of the Korean people if sanctions pressure from foreign forces is blindly supported and followed by the South.

It has been angered in the past by unilateral US sanctions on Chinese firms and individuals.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov looks on at the start of two days of closed-door nuclear talks at the United Nations offices in Geneva October 15, 2013. He was quoted as saying on Thursday that a decision on the measures would be taken by Russia's leadership.

Kolchanov told Reuters the sanctions against him and his firm were illegal, and said he only helped prepare documents for the North Korean vessels.

Profinet director general Vasili Aleksandrovich Kolchanov is also accused of personally orchestrating North Korea-related deals and coordinating with the North Korean representatives in Russian Federation.

"It's not our concern who fuels the vessels, who sells that fuel, who they buy the cargo and oil products from", he said.

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