'Made In China' clothes could come from North Korea

'Made In China' clothes could come from North Korea

Kerry Wise
August 25, 2017

Also sanctioned were Russian citizens Mikhail Pisklin, Andrei Serbin and Irina Huish for activities in the North Korean energy industry.

The only Chinese individual named on the sanctions list was Zhicheng's director Chi Yupeng, whom the U.S. described as "using a network of companies to engage in bulk purchases, wire transfers, and other transactions on behalf of North Korean interests".

Chinese and Russian officials have expressed objections to sanctions the United States imposed Tuesday against several companies for allegedly supporting North Korea's nuclear program.

In this undated photo distributed Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, by the North Korean government, leader Kim Jong Un, center, visits the Chemical Material Institute of Academy of Defense Science at an undisclosed location in North Korea.

The Treasury Department, which oversees USA sanctions programs, said those targeted by the sanctions had helped people known to support the North's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, or had traded in North Korean energy, exploited its workers or acted as a conduit to the worldwide financial system.

"Treasury 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 Mnuchin said in the announcement.

Clothing imported by major apparel retailers and brands with "Made in China" labels could have been made by low-paid garment workers in North Korea, an investigation suggests.

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But the civil complaint filing does show how two front companies in Singapore - Velmur and TransAtlantic - were key nodes in supplying North Korea with fuel products, while also receiving payments from firms associated with the DPRK's sanctioned Foreign Trade Bank.

US officials and United Nations diplomats say the threat of U.S.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that "the scope of sanctions already endorsed by the U.N. Security Council is such that any possibilities of expanding such measures have been exhausted".

As a major coal importer, then, Chi Yupeng would have been a critical point of contact for the North Korean regime.

While many agree that patching up frayed bilateral relations with Beijing is highly unlikely this year, . experts say Seoul's outreach to Moscow is a key strategic move in putting a break to North Korea's nuclear weapons development.

"No Chinese banks were targeted, but that's the next level".

Michael Duitsman, a research associate with the U.S. Center for Nonproliferation Studies, suggested Wednesday that it is "possible" North Korea is using the same fiber for its solid rocket casing as the one confiscated by Russian Federation late previous year, implying that Moscow could be illegally supporting Pyongyang's missile program.