As Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin informed, ship-to-ship transfers with North Korea-flagged vessels from Russia or elsewhere of any goods being supplied, sold, or transferred to or from the DPRK are prohibited under the UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea and are sanctionable under U.S. law.
Consequences for violating these sanctions will remain in place until North Korea has achieved full denuclearization.
Namely, the two ships conducted two ship-to-ship transfers of oil in early 2018, when 1,500 and then 2,000 tons were transferred to a North Korean entity.
From its part, the Russian Foreign Ministry said through the Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Ryabkov that these sanctions were introduced under a “false pretense.”
Before these sanctions, the US had sanctioned a Russian port service agency and Chinese companies for helping North Korean ships.