Beijing on Wednesday objected to new U.S. sanctions imposed by the Trump administration against Chinese and Russian companies for allegedly helping North Korea with its nuclear program.
During a news conference Wednesday, China Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the U.S. Treasury’s new sanctions will not alleviate the ongoing conflict between the United States and North Korea.
“The U.S. action will not help the solution of the problem as well as the mutual trust and cooperation with China,” Hua said. “We urge the U.S. side to stop this wrongdoing and correct it.”
The Treasury’s enforcement arm announced the sanctions Tuesday, which target 10 entities and six individuals from China and Russia.
“[We] will continue to increase pressure on North Korea by targeting those who support the advancement of nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and isolating them from the American financial system,” Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said in a statement. “It is unacceptable for individuals and companies in China, Russia, and elsewhere to enable North Korea to generate income used to develop weapons of mass destruction and destabilize the region.”
The fresh U.S. sanctions come as Pyongyang and Washington, and U.S. allies in Asia, remain engaged in a tense diplomatic standoff over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program — as well as escalating rhetoric between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
Trump warned of “fire and fury” if Pyongyang continued to make threats, particularly after testing intercontinental ballistic missiles in July. Kim then threatened to fire ballistic missiles at the U.S. territory of Guam.
Hua said the “extremely tense” situation on the Korean Peninsula has “shown some signs of abating,” though the situation “remains highly complex and sensitive.”
By Andrew V. Pestano