The US accused China of “flagrant violation” of its obligation to apply international sanctions on North Korea and offered rewards of up to $5 million for information about sanctions evasions.
According to Reuters, Deputy Assistant Secretary for North Korea Alex Wong accused China of seeking to undo a United Nations sanctions regime aimed at persuading North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons. He also warned of new U.S. sanctions against China-based individuals and entities in response.
Mr. Wong also said that China had continued to host at least 20,000 North Korean laborers in violation of U.N. bans, and that in the past year the United States had observed ships carrying banned coal or other sanctioned goods from North Korea to China on 555 separate occasions.
In addition, Mr. Wong claimed that China currently hosted at least two dozen North Korean representatives connected to Pyongyang’s weapons programs or banks, and Chinese firms had continued to do business with U.N.-sanctioned entities with key roles in those programs.
As for China, it says that it complied with the U.N. sanctions on North Korea, although it has expressed hope that an easing of those conditions could help break the deadlock in nuclear talks.
Moreover, Mr. Wong said the State Department was launching a website through which people could provide information on North Korea sanctions evasion in return for up to $5 million.
Furthermore, the US has accused China of helping North Korea launder money from cyber thefts carried out to raise funds for its weapons programs.