The sanctions, relayed Wednesday in Washington by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, are against organizations based in China, Singapore and Russia and one Russian national. 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.
The U.S. Treasury accused China's Dalian Sun Moon Star International Logistics Trading Co., along with its Singapore-based affiliate, SINSMS Ltd., of falsifying documents to ease "illicit" shipments of alcohol and cigarettes into North Korea that netted the companies more than $1 billion a year.
The sanctions mandate that no USA citizen can deal with any of those designated in the order, and any of their properties in the United States "must be blocked", the Treasury said.
When asked for comment, Liang Ye, a legal representative of Dalian Sun Moon Star International Logistics Trading, said the matter was still unclear and that the Chinese company had not received any notification.
Despite having opened direct talks with Pyongyang, Washington continues to press for full compliance with existing global sanctions against North Korea to keep pressure on Pyongyang to end its programs for nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
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.
The Treasury Department on Wednesday targeted three Chinese, Russian and Singaporean shipping firms for violating financial sanctions meant to cut off foreign aid to North Korea's economy. Since then, the US and North Korea have engaged in further talks about ending Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, but no agreements have been reached.
Ryabkov said a decision on a response would be taken by the country's leadership.
It said the Russian firm and its director general, Vasili Aleksandrovich Kolchanov, provided port services at least 6X to NKorean-flagged vessels engaged in sanctions busting strategic Crude Oil shipments to the Kim regime.
"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.