U.S. slaps new sanctions on NKorean, Chinese firms


US authorities have repeatedly targeted companies and individuals from the Chinese city of Dandong, which borders North Korea, in a bid to cut off Pyongyang's major export revenue from selling natural resources, such as coal.

The UN estimated the latest ban, imposed after its two intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July, would slash by North Korea's $3-billion annual export revenue by a third.

On Monday, President Trump re-listed North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, a list from which President George W. Bush removed from in 2008.

According to the Wall Street Journal, in a pair of statements published on Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Wednesday-one of which was attributed to North Korea's Foreign Ministry-a defiant Pyongyang called the move a "serious provocation" and "violent infringement" on the country's dignity.

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The sanctions prohibit USA companies from doing any business with the designated entities and individuals.

The Chinese companies were hit by punitive measures along with North Korean shipping interests after U.S. President Donald Trump put Pyongyang back on a list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Da Zhigang, director of the Institute of Northeast Asian Studies at the Heilongjiang Academy of Social Sciences, said, "This is contradictory to the signal that Washington sent out earlier, and will not help with cooperation on this issue". In recent months, the North conducted its most powerful nuclear test yet and tested a pair of intercontinental ballistic missiles that could potentially reach the US mainland if perfected.

Besides targeting sources of weapons technology, the curbs were the first time the United States sought to directly attack North Korea's daily consumer trade, said Peter Harrell, a sanctions expert at the Center for a New American Security.

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (SHIN'-zoh AH'-bay) tells reporters in Tokyo that Japan supports the move as a way to increase pressure on North Korea.

Japan is increasingly nervous about North Korean advances in developing nuclear weapons.

China, the North's sole ally, rejected the new sanctions as "wrong" on Wednesday.

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