USA blacklists N. Korean-controlled IT firms in China, Russia:The Asahi Shimbun

She accused the UN panel of “caving to Russian pressure” and making changes to its report

She accused the UN panel of “caving to Russian pressure” and making changes to its report

The two companies and their leader are banned from the US financial system, and U.S persons and firms are prohibited from conducting businesses with them.

Under a United Nations Security Council resolution adopted in December, UN member states are required to expel North Korean overseas workers within 24 months due to their contribution to the regime's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

The department designated the China-based China Silver Star, its North Korean CEO Jong Song Hwa and its Russia-based sister company Volasys Silver Star as such fronts, the Voice of America News reported.

"Russia can't be allowed to edit and obstruct independent United Nations reports on North Korea sanctions just because they don't like what they say".

Penalties "intended to stop the flow of illicit revenue to North Korea" Treasury Sec.

The United States said that the companies targeted are also linked to the organizations involved in North's weapons program.

The Department of the Treasury also sanctioned a North Korean individual in the latest set of sanctions aimed at denuclearizing the regime.

Ltd. and Russia-based Volasys Silver Star are believed to have earned millions of dollars for North Korea. Both companies are managed by North Koreans.

Meanwhile, North Korea has denied responsibility for a cyber attack on Sony Pictures in 2014, for which Washington slapped sanctions on a North Korean person called "Pak Jin-hyok".

The Trump administration has sought to ramp up pressure on Kim to strike a deal to halt North Korea's nuclear program in part by penalizing Chinese and Russian firms that the increasingly isolated country depends on to keep its economy afloat.

According to the global atomic energy Agency (IAEA), North Korea does not fulfill agreements on denuclearization.

Also Thursday, the USA government announced that it has approved the potential sale to South Korea of six P-8A maritime patrol aircraft for an estimated cost of $2.1 billion (224 billion yen) and 64 Patriot missiles for missile defense for an estimated $500 million.

The strictest regime of sanctions is now in effect against North Korea, providing for financial sanctions, the ban on supplies of rocket fuel and dual-purpose equipment and materials, and exports of coal, iron, lead and other products from the country.